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A. C. No. 6332.April 17, 2012.*

IN RE: SUPREME COURT RESOLUTION DATED 28 APRIL 2003


IN G.R. NOS. 145817 AND 145822
Attorneys; Legal Ethics; Disbarment; As officers of the court, lawyers
are duty-bound to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and
judicial officers. They are to abstain from offensive or menacing language or
behavior before the court and must refrain from attributing to a judge
motives that are not supported by the record or have no materiality to the
case.As officers of the court, lawyers are duty-bound to observe and
maintain the respect due to the courts and judicial officers. They are to
abstain from offensive or menacing language or behavior before the court and
must refrain from attributing to a judge motives that are not supported by the
_______________
* EN BANC.

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and 145822
record or have no materiality to the case. While lawyers are entitled to present
their case with vigor and courage, such enthusiasm does not justify the use of
foul and abusive language. Language abounds with countless possibilities for
one to be emphatic but respectful, convincing but not derogatory, illuminating
but not offensive. A lawyers language should be forceful but dignified,
emphatic but respectful as befitting an advocate and in keeping with the
dignity of the legal profession.
Same; Same; Same; Suspicions or insinuations of bribery involving a
member of this Court, in exchange for a favorable resolution, are grave
accusations. They cannot be treated lightly or be jokingly alleged by
parties, much less by counsel in pleadings or motions.A mere adverse ruling
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of the court is not adequate to immediately justify the imputation of such bias
or prejudice as to warrant inhibition of a Member of this Court, absent any
verifiable proof of specific misconduct. Suspicions or insinuations of bribery
involving a member of this Court, in exchange for a favorable resolution, are
grave accusations. They cannot be treated lightly or be jokingly alleged by
parties, much less by counsel in pleadings or motions. These suspicions or
insinuations strike not only at the stature or reputation of the individual
members of the Court, but at the integrity of its decisions as well.
Same; Same; Same; Although the courts and judicial officers are
entitled to due respect, they are not immune to criticisms nor are they beyond
the subject matter of free speech, especially in the context of a private
conversation between two individuals.Respondent Peas defense that the
allegation of bribery and collusion between Justice Carpio, Atty. Singson and
the petitioners was a joke fails to convince, as in fact, he was deadly
serious about the charges he raised. Respondent insisted that his alleged
insinuation of ill motives was just a joke between two lawyers engaged in a
private telephone conversation regarding the case. Although the courts and
judicial officers are entitled to due respect, they are not immune to criticisms
nor are they beyond the subject matter of free speech, especially in the
context of a private conversation between two individuals. In this case,
though, respondent himself was responsible for moving the private matter
into the realm of public knowledge by citing that same joke in his own
Motion for Inhibition filed before this Court. In general, courts will not act as
overly sensitive censors
532

532

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
of all private conversations of lawyers at all times, just to ensure obedience to
the duty to afford proper respect and deference to the former. Nevertheless,
this Court will not shy away from exercising its disciplinary powers
whenever persons who impute bribery to judicial officers and bring such
imputations themselves to the courts attention through their own pleadings or
motions.
Same; Same; Same; The Court in the past refrained from imposing
actual penalties in administrative cases in the presence of mitigating factors,
such as the acknowledgment of the infraction and the feeling of remorse. In
this case, the profound apologies offered by respondent Pea for his
insinuations against Justice Carpio are insincere and hypocritical, as seen by
his later actions.The Court in the past refrained from imposing actual
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penalties in administrative cases in the presence of mitigating factors, such as


the acknowledgment of the infraction and the feeling of remorse. In this case,
the profound apologies offered by respondent Pea for his insinuations
against Justice Carpio are insincere and hypocritical, as seen by his later
actions. Although he expressed remorse for having caused the Court distress
because of his statements, he refuses to acknowledge any unethical conduct
on his part for his unfounded accusations against the actions of Justice
Carpio with respect to the questioned 13 November 2002 Resolution. Worse,
he has persisted in attributing ill-motives against Justice Carpio, even after the
latter had recused himself from the case since 2003.
Same; Same; Same; Indefinite Suspensions; The Court orders respondent
Pea be indefinitely suspended from the practice of law for his apparently
irredeemable habit of repeatedly imputing unfounded motives and partiality
against members of the Court.Respondent Peas actions betray a similar
disrespectful attitude towards the Court that cannot be countenanced
especially for those privileged enough to practice law in the country. To be
sure, Atty. Paguia has just been recently reinstated to the practice of law after
showing sincere remorse and having renewed his belief and respect for the
Court, almost eight years from the time the penalty was imposed. Thus, the
Court orders respondent Pea be indefinitely suspended from the practice
of law for his apparently irredeemable habit of repeatedly imputing unfounded
motives and partiality against members of the Court.
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In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822

Same; Same; Same; Dishonesty; The submission of a document


purporting to be a copy of the Agenda of a member of this Court is an act of
dishonesty that puts into doubt the ability of respondent to uphold his duty as
a disciple of truth.Candor and truthfulness are some of the qualities
exacted and expected from members of the legal profession. Thus, lawyers
shall commit no falsehood, nor shall they mislead or allow the court to be
misled by any artifice. As disciples of truth, their lofty vocation is to correctly
inform the court of the law and the facts of the case and to aid it in doing
justice and arriving at correct conclusions. Courts are entitled to expect only
complete honesty from lawyers appearing and pleading before them. In the
instant case, the submission of a document purporting to be a copy of the
Agenda of a member of this Court is an act of dishonesty that puts into doubt
the ability of respondent to uphold his duty as a disciple of truth.
Same; Same; Same; Respondents continued obstinacy in disregarding
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ethical standards and ignoring the rule of confidentiality of court records


deserves nothing less than the ultimate penalty of disbarment from the
profession.Regardless of the means employed by respondent, his
acquisition of the OBC Report from the Courts own records already speaks
of an appalling pattern of unethical behavior that the Court will no longer
ignore. Even as he was the subject of an administrative case for obtaining
confidential court records, he continued to have access to other internal
documents of the Court. His actions have established that he is incorrigible
and not likely to change. His continued obstinacy in disregarding ethical
standards and ignoring the rule of confidentiality of court records deserves
nothing less than the ultimate penalty of disbarment from the profession.
Same; Same; Same; Although an indefinite suspension opens up the
possibility of future reinstatement after a clear showing of remorse and a
change of ways (as in the case of Atty. Paguia), respondent has shown to be
incorrigible and no longer deserves the compassion of the Court.This
second penalty of disbarment is all the more justified by the earlier imposition
of an indefinite suspension. If taken together, these two violations already
speak of respondent Peas inherent unworthiness to become a member of
the Bar. Although an indefinite suspension opens up the possibility of future
reinstatement after a clear showing of remorse and a change of ways
534

534

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
(as in the case of Atty. Paguia), respondent has shown to be incorrigible and
no longer deserves the compassion of the Court. Not only has respondent
thumbed his nose on the integrity of the persons occupying the Bench by
casting grave aspersions of bribery and wrongdoing, he has also showed
disdain for the sanctity of court procedures and records by his haughty
display of illegal access to internal Supreme Court documents.
Same; Same; Same; Lawyers shall use dignified language in their
pleadings despite the adversarial nature of our legal system.Lawyers shall
conduct themselves with courtesy, fairness and candor towards their
professional colleagues. They shall not, in their professional dealings, use
language that is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper. Lawyers shall use
dignified language in their pleadings despite the adversarial nature of our legal
system. The use of intemperate language and unkind ascriptions has no place
in the dignity of a judicial forum.
Same; Same; Same; It is the duty of members of the Bar to abstain from
all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or
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reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justness of the cause


with which they are charged.The Court cannot countenance the ease with
which lawyers, in the hopes of strengthening their cause in a motion for
inhibition, make grave and unfounded accusations of unethical conduct or
even wrongdoing against other members of the legal profession. It is the duty
of members of the Bar to abstain from all offensive personality and to
advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness,
unless required by the justness of the cause with which they are charged.
Same; Same; Same; Lest other litigants follow respondents lead, the
Court condemns in no uncertain terms the practice of shopping for a justice,
most especially in the highest tribunal of the land. This abhorrent practice is
indeed one of the reasons why this administrative case has dragged on for
years.The Courts warning in Chin applies squarely to the multiple and
successive requests for inhibition and re-raffle filed by respondent Pea. Lest
other litigants follow his lead, the Court condemns in no uncertain terms the
practice of shopping for a justice, most especially in the highest tribunal of
the land. This abhorrent practice is indeed one of the reasons why this
administrative case has dragged on for years. Not only does it
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535

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
impute ill motive and disrepute to the members of the Court, but it likewise
delays the administration of justice.

ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Disbarment.


The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
Ponce Enrile, Reyes & Manalastas for Eric Lee.
Baterina, Baterina, Casals, Lozada & Tiblani for Urban Bank,
Inc.
Fortun, Narvasa & Salazar for Borlongan, Bejasa and Manuel.
Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala & Cruz for Gonzales, Jr., De
Leon and Lee.
PER CURIAM:
Factual Background
This administrative case originated when respondent Atty. Magdaleno
M. Pea filed an Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to Resolve Respondents
Urgent Omnibus Motion dated 30 January 20031 (the subject Motion to
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Inhibit) in two consolidated petitions involving respondent that were


pending before the Court.2 This motion is directed against the then
ponente of
_______________
1 Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 16-24.
2 Urban Bank, Inc., v. Magdaleno M. Pea, G.R. No. 145817 and Delfin C.
Gonzales, Jr., et al., v. Magdaleno M. Pea, G.R. No. 145822. A separate petition
entitled Magdaleno M. Pea v. Urban Bank, Inc., Teodoro Borlongan, Delfin C.
Gonzalez, Jr., Benjamin L. de Leon, P. Siervo H. Dizon, Eric L. Lee, Ben T. Lim, Jr.,
Corazon Bejasa, and Arturo Manuel, Jr., and docketed as G.R. No. 162562, was
later filed and consolidated with the two earlier petitions. (See Urban Bank v.
Pea, G.R. No. 145817, 145822, 162562, 19 October 2011, 659 SCRA 418)
536

536

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
the consolidated petitions, Justice Antonio T. Carpio, and reads in part:
PRIVATE RESPONDENT MAGDALENO M. PEA, pro se, respectfully
states:
1.Despite all the obstacles respondent has had to hurdle in his quest for
justice against Urban Bank and its officials, he has remained steadfast in his
belief that ultimately, he will be vindicated and the wrongdoers will get their
just deserts [sic]. What respondent is about to relate however has, with
all due respect, shaken his faith in the highest Court of the land. If an
anomaly as atrocious as this can happen even in the august halls of the
Supreme Court, one can only wonder if there is still any hope for our
justice system.
2. Private respondent wishes to make clear that he is not making a
sweeping accusation against all the members of this Honorable Court. He
cannot however remain tight-lipped in the face of the overwhelming evidence
that has come to his knowledge regarding the actuation of the ponente of this
Honorable Division.
3. In the evening of 19 November 2002, private respondent received a
call from the counsel for petitioners, Atty. Manuel R. Singson (through his
cell phone number 09189137383) who very excitedly bragged that they had
been able to secure an order from this Honorable Court suspending the
redemption period and the consolidation of ownership over the Urban Bank
properties sold during the execution sale. Private respondent was aghast
because by them, more than two weeks had lapsed since the redemption
period on the various properties had expired. At that juncture in fact,
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Certificates of Final Sale had already been issued to the purchasers of the
properties. The only step that had to be accomplished was the ministerial act
of issuance of new titles in favor of the purchasers.
4.Private respondent composed himself and tried to recall if there was
any pending incident with this Honorable Court regarding the suspension of
the redemption period but he could not remember any. In an effort to hide
his discomfort, respondent teased Atty. Singson about bribing the
ponente to get such an order. Much to his surprise, Atty. Singson did not
even bother to deny and in fact explained that they obviously had to exert
extra effort because they could not afford to lose the properties involved
(consisting
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In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
mainly of almost all the units in the Urban Bank Plaza in Makati City) as it
might again cause the bank (now Export Industry Bank) to close down.
5. Since private respondent himself had not received a copy of the order
that Atty. Singson was talking about, he asked Atty. Singson to fax him the
advance copy that they had received. The faxed advance copy that Atty.
Singson provided him bore the fax number and name of Atty. Singsons law
office. A copy thereof is hereto attached as Annex A.
6. Private respondent could not believe what he read. It appeared that a
supposed Motion for Clarification was filed by petitioners through Atty.
Singson dated 6 August 2002, but he was never furnished a copy thereof. He
asked a messenger to immediately secure a copy of the motion and thereafter
confirmed that he was not furnished a copy. His supposed copy as indicated
in the last page of the motion was sent to the Abello Concepcion Regala and
Cruz (ACCRA) Law Offices. ACCRA, however, was never respondents
counsel and was in fact the counsel of some of the petitioners. Respondents
copy, in other words, was sent to his opponents.
7.The Motion for Clarification was thus resolved without even giving
respondent an opportunity to comment on the same. In contrast,
respondents Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution dated 19
November 2001 had been pending for almost a year and yet petitioners
motions for extension to file comment thereon [were] being granted left and
right.
8. In view of these circumstances, private respondent filed on 10
December 2002, an Urgent Omnibus Motion (to Expunge Motion for
Clarification and Recall of the 13 November 2002 Resolution). He filed a
Supplement to the said motion on 20 December 2002.
9. While private respondent was waiting for petitioners to respond to his
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motion, he received sometime last week two documents that confirmed his
worst fears. The two documents indicate that this Honorable Court has not
actually granted petitioners Motion for Clarification. They indicate that the
supposed 13 November 2002 Resolution of this Honorable Court which
Atty. Singson had bragged about WAS A FALSIFIED DOCUMENT!
10.What private respondent anonymously received were two copies of
the official Agenda of the First Division of this Honorable Court for 13
November 2002, the date when the
538

538

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
questioned Resolution was supposedly issued. In both copies (apparently
secured from the office of two different members of the Division, one of
which is the copy of the ponente himself), it is clearly indicated that the
members of the Division had agreed that petitioners Motion for
Clarification and Urgent Motion to Resolve were merely NOTED and
NOT GRANTED contrary to what was stated in the 13 November 2002
Resolution. This makes the 13 November 2002 Resolution (at least the
version that was released to the parties) a falsified document because it
makes it appear that a Resolution was issued by the First Division
granting petitioners Motion for Clarification when in fact no such
Resolution exists. The real Resolution arrived at by the First Division
which can be gleaned from the Agenda merely NOTED said motion.
Copies of the two Agenda are hereto attached as Annexes B and C.
11. At this point, private respondent could not help but conclude that
this anomaly was confirmatory of what Atty. Singson was bragging to him
about. The clear and undeniable fact is the Honorable members of this
Division agreed that petitioners Motion for Clarification would only be
NOTED but the ponente responsible for the 13 November 2002
Resolution misrepresented that the same was GRANTED.
12.Respondent is not just speculating here. He is CERTAIN that the
ponente has a special interest in this case. Recently, he also found out that
the ponente made a special request to bring this case along with him when he
transferred from the Third Division to the First Division. Respondent has a
copy of the Resolution of this Honorable Court granting such request (hereto
attached as Annex D). Indeed, this circumstance, considered with all the
foregoing circumstance, ineluctably demonstrates that a major anomaly has
occurred here.
13.In view of these, private respondent is compelled to move for the
inhibition of the ponente from this case. This matter should be thoroughly
investigated and respondent is now carefully considering his legal options for
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redress. It has taken him seven years to seek vindication of his rights against
petitioners, he is not about to relent at this point. In the meantime, he can
longer expect a fair and impartial resolution of this case if the ponente does
not inhibit himself.
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In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
14. This Honorable Court has time and again emphasized the importance
of impartiality and the appearance of impartiality on the part of judges and
justices. The ponente will do well to heed such pronouncements.
15. Finally, it is has now become incumbent upon this Honorable Court
to clarify its real position on the 19 November 2001 Resolution. It is most
respectfully submitted that in order to obviate any further confusion on the
matter, respondents Urgent Omnibus Motion dated 09 December 2002 (as
well as the Supplement dated 19 November 2002) should be resolved and this
Honorable Court should confirm that the stay order contained in the 19
November 2001 Resolution does not cover properties already sold on
execution. xxx (Emphasis supplied; citations omitted.)

In support of his claims to inhibit the ponente, Atty. Pea attached to


the subject Motion to Inhibit two copies of the official Agenda for 13
November 2002 of the First Division of this Court, which he claimed
to have anonymously received through the mail.3 He also attached a copy
of the Courts internal Resolution regarding the transfer of the case
from the Third Division to the First Division, upon the request of Justice
Carpio, to establish the latters alleged special interest in the case.4
In response, the Court issued a resolution on 17 February 2003 to
require Atty. Pea and Atty. Manuel R. Singson, counsel of Urban Bank
in the consolidated petitions, to appear before the Court on 03 March
2003 for an Executive Session.5
_______________
3 Annexes A, B and C, of the Motion; Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 25-32.
4 Annex D, of the Motion; id., at p. 33.
5 The manifestation of the Office of the Chief Legal counsel of PDIC with
motion with leave of court praying that the Export and Industry Bank with office
address at 36th Floor, Export and Industry Bank Plaza, Chino Roces Avenue corner
Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City be furnished with all the pleadings and other court
processes
540
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540

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
The reason for the required appearance of the two lawyers in the
Executive Session is explained in the Courts Resolution dated 03 March
2003.6 It states:
The executive session started at 10:20 a.m. Chief Justice Hilario G.
Davide, Jr. formally opened the executive session and then requested
Associate Justice Jose C. Vitug to act as chair. Justice Vitug stated that the
executive session was called because the Court is perturbed by some
statements made by respondent Atty. Magdaleno Pea involving strictly
confidential matters which are purely internal to the Court and which
the latter cites as grounds in his Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to
Resolve Respondents Urgent Omnibus Motion.
Respondent/movant Atty. Magdaleno Pea and counsel for petitioner Atty.
Manuel R. Singson attended the session.
The matters under inquiry were how respondent was able to obtain
copies of the documents he used as annexes in his motion to inhibit,
and whether the annexes are authentic.
The court also clarified that these matters were to be taken as entirely
different and apart from the merits of the main case.
Justice Vitug called the attention of respondent to the three (3) annexes
attached to the motion to inhibit, Annexes B, C and D, questioned how
the latter was able to secure copies of such documents which are
confidential to the Court and for the sole use of the Office of the Clerk of
Court, First Division and the Justices concerned.
_______________
vice the PDIC for reasons mentioned therein is NOTED and GRANTED.
Before acting on respondent Magdalena Penas Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to
Resolve Respondents Urgent Omnibus Motion dated January 30, 2003, the Court
Resolves to direct Atty. Magdaleno M. Pea and Atty. Manuel R. S ingson to APPEAR
before this Court on Monday, March 3, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.
Let this resolution be served personally on aforesaid lawyers, if feasible. (SC
Resolution dated 17 February 2003; Rollo [Vol. 1], pp. 34-35)
6 SC Resolution dated 03 M arch 2003; id., at pp. 38-43.
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and 145822

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Annex B is alleged to be a photocopy of the supplemental agenda of the


First Division for November 13, 2002 (pages 61-62), with an entry in
handwriting reading 10 AC on the left side and what appear to be marginal
notes on the right side of both pages. Annex C is alleged to be a photocopy
of the same supplemental agenda of the First Division for November 13,
2002, with marginal notes on the right side of pages 61-62. Annex D
appears to be a photocopy of the resolution dated September 4, 2002 of the
Third Division transferring the instant case to the First Division (an internal
resolution).
Atty. Pea was made to understand that all his statements taken during
this executive session were deemed under oath. Atty. Pea acceded thereto.
Atty. Pea was asked whether he knows any personnel of the Court who
could possibly be the source. Atty. Pea replied in the negative and added that
he obtained those documents contained in the annexes through ordinary mail
addressed at his residence in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, sometime in the
second or third week of January 2003; but failed to give the exact date of his
receipt. He said Annexes B and C were contained in one envelope while
Annex D was mailed in a separate envelope. He did not bring the envelopes
but promised the Court he would do his best to locate them. On questions by
the Chief Justice, Atty. Pea admitted that the envelopes may no longer be
found. He was unable to respond to the observation of the Chief Justice that
the Court would be in no position to know whether the envelopes he would
later produce would be the same envelopes he allegedly received. Atty. Pea
further admitted that his office did not stamp Received on the envelopes
and the contents thereof; neither did he have them recorded in a log book.
When asked by the Chief Justice why he relied on those annexes as
grounds for his motion to inhibit when the same were coursed only through
ordinary mail under unusual circumstances and that respondent did not even
bother to take note of the postal marks nor record the same in a log book,
Atty. Pea answered that he was 100% certain that those documents
are authentic and he assumed that they came from Manila because the
Supreme Court is in Manila.
At this juncture, Atty. Pea was reminded that since he assured the
authenticity of Annexes B, C and D, he should be
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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
willing to accept all the consequences if it turns out that there are no such
copies in the Supreme Court or if said annexes turn out to be forged. Atty.
Pea manifested that he was willing to accept the consequences.
When further asked by the Court whether he had seen the original that
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made him conclude that those photocopies are authentic, he replied in the
negative, but he believed that they are official documents of the Court
inasmuch as he also received a copy of another resolution issued by the
Court when the same was faxed to him by Atty. Singson, counsel for
petitioner.
Atty. Pea expressed his disappointment upon receiving the resolution
because he was not even furnished with a copy of petitioners motion for
clarification, which was resolved. He found out that his copy was addressed
to Abello Concepcion Regala and Cruz Law Offices, which was never
respondents counsel and was in fact the counsel of some of the petitioners.
He also expressed misgivings on the fact that the motion for clarification
was acted upon even without comment from him, and he admitted that
under said circumstances, he made imputation of bribery as a joke.
As to the statement of the Chief Justice making it of record that Justice
Carpio and Justice Azcuna denied that Annex B is their copy of pp. 61 and
62 of the agenda, Justice Carpio also said that per verification, Annex B is
not Justice Santiagos copy. Thus, Justice Carpio added that Annex B does
not belong to any of the Justices of the First Division. It was also pointed
out that each of the Justices have their respective copies of the agenda
and make their own notations thereon. The official actions of the Court
are contained in the duly approved minutes and resolutions of the
Court.
Meanwhile, Justice Vitug called the attention of both Atty. Pea and Atty.
Singson to paragraphs 3 and 4 of respondents Urgent Motion to Inhibit and
to Resolve Respondents Urgent Omnibus Motion, which contain the
following allegations: (Atty. Singson) very excitedly bragged that they had
been able to secure an order from this Honorable Court suspending the
redemption period and the consolidation of ownership over the Urban Bank
properties sold during the execution sale. Private respondent was aghast
because by
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543

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
then, more than two weeks had lapsed since the redemption period on the
various properties had expired. In an effort to hide his discomfort, respondent
(Atty. Pea) teased Atty. Singson about bribing the ponente to get such an
order. Much to his surprise, Atty. Singson did not even bother to deny and in
fact explained that they obviously had to exert extra effort because they could
not afford to lose the properties involved.
For his part, Atty. Singson admitted that he faxed a copy of the resolution
dated November 13, 2002 to Atty. Pea and expressed his belief that there
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was nothing wrong with it, as the resolution was officially released and
received by his office. He explained that his staff merely copied the parties in
the resolution of February 13, 2002 when the motion for clarification was
prepared. Hence, the respondent was inadvertently not sent a copy.
Atty. Singson further denied the allegations made in paragraphs 3 and 4 of
the motion to inhibit, reasoning that all he said was about the suspension of
the redemption period which was the subject of the motion for clarification.
Atty. Singson branded as false the allegation of Atty. Pea that he, Atty.
Singson, resorted to bribery in order that the suspension of the redemption
period would be granted.
On questions by the Chief Justice, Atty. Pea admitted that he was
only joking to Atty. Singson when on the cellular phone he intimated
that Justice Carpio could have been bribed because he has a new
Mercedes Benz. When pressed many times to answer categorically
whether Atty. Singson told him that Justice Carpio was bribed, Atty.
Pea could not make any candid or forthright answer. He was evasive.
After further deliberation whereby Atty. Pea consistently replied that his
only source of the documents in the annexes is the regular mail, the Court
Resolved to require Atty. Magdaleno Pea within fifteen (15) days from today
to SHOW CAUSE why he should not be held in contempt and be
subjected to disciplinary action as a lawyer if he will not be able to
satisfactorily explain to Court why he made gratuitous allegations and
imputations against the Court and some of its members that tend to
cast doubt or aspersion on their integrity.
Atty. Manuel Singson was also required to submit within fifteen (15) days
from today his response to the allegations of Atty.
544

544

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
Pea, particularly those in paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 of respondents motion to
inhibit.
The Court excused Attys. Pea and Singson from the executive session at
11:35 a.m. and resumed its regular session on the agenda.
In connection with the pleadings filed in these cases, the Court Resolves
to GRANT the motion by counsel for petitioner praying that intervenormovant Unimega Properties Holdings Corp. be directed to furnish aforesaid
counsel with a copy of the motion for reconsideration and intervention and
that they be granted an additional period of ten (10) days within which to file
comment thereon and require said intervenor-movant to SUBMIT proof of
such service within five (5) days from notice.
The manifestation and comment of petitioners in G.R. No. 145882,
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Benjamin de Leon, et al., on the motion for reconsideration with intervention


by Unimega Property Holdings Corp. is NOTED. (Emphasis supplied)

Atty. Pea duly submitted his Compliance with the Courts Order,
where he stated that:7
PRIVATE RESPONDENT MAGDALENO M. PEA, pro se, respectfully
submits the following explanation in compliance with the Resolution of this
Honorable Court dated 3 March 2003:
1.This Honorable Court in its 3 March 2003 Resolution required
respondent to show cause why he should not be held in contempt and be
subjected to disciplinary action as a result of the allegations he made in his
Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to Resolve Respondents Urgent Omnibus
Motion dated 30 January 2003. As this Honorable Court stated during the 3
March 2003 hearing, the members of the Court were perturbed by some
statements respondent made in the motion.
2.At the outset, respondent wishes to apologize for the distress his
statements may have caused the members of this Honorable Court. While
such distress may have been the unavoidable consequence of his motion to
inhibit the ponente, it was certainly not his intended result.
_______________
7 Respondent Peas Compliance dated 03 April 2003; Rollo (G.R. No. 145817), Vol. 2,
pp. 1333-1340.
545

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

545

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
3. In the course of the discussion during the 3 March 2003 hearing, it
appeared that this Honorable Court was most concerned with how respondent
was able to secure Annexes B and C of his motion (referring to the two
copies of the Supplemental Agenda of the First Division for 13 November
2002) and why respondent used those documents as basis for his Urgent
Motion to Inhibit.
4.Respondent had explained that he received the two annexes by
ordinary mail at his residence in Brgy. Ubay, Pulupandan, Negros Occidental
sometime during the second week of January. The sender of the document
was unknown to respondent because there was no return address. Despite
efforts to locate the envelope in which these documents came, he was unable
to do so.
5.Respondent has no record keeper or secretary at his residence. Since
he is often in Manila on business, it is usually the househelp who gets to
receive the mail. While he had given instructions to be very careful in the
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handling of documents which arrive by registered mail, the envelopes for


Annexes A and B may have been misplaced or disposed by the
househelp because it did not bear the stamp registered mail.
6.When respondent read the documents, he had absolutely no reason to
doubt their authenticity. For why would anyone bother or go to the extent of
manufacturing documents for the benefit of someone who does not even
know him? The documents contained a detailed list of the incidents
deliberated by this Honorable Court on 13 November 2002. Definitely, not
just anyone could have access to such information. Moreover, respondent
subsequently received another mail from apparently the same sender, this time
containing a pink copy of this Honorable Courts 4 September 2002
Resolution (Annex D, Urgent Motion to Inhibit) transferring this case from
the Third Division to the First Division. The receipt of this last document
somehow confirmed to respondent that whoever sent him the copies of
the Supplemental Agenda really had access to the records of this
Honorable Court.
7.Respondent wishes to reiterate that the main basis of his motion to
inhibit was the information relayed to him by Atty. Singson during their
telephone conversation on 19 November 2002. As stated in respondents
Urgent Motion to Inhibit, while Atty. Singson did not categorically claim that
they had bribed the ponente to secure the 13 November 2002 resolution,
however, he made no denial when respondent, in order to obtain
information, half546

546

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
seriously remarked that this was the reason why the ponente had a
brand new car. Atty. Singson retorted that obviously, they had to take extraordinary measures to prevent the consolidation of ownership of the properties
sold as the bank may again close down. Indeed, one would normally be
indignant upon being accused of bribery but Atty. Singson even chuckled and
instead justified their extra-ordinary efforts.
8.Respondent very well knew that mere suspicion was not enough. An
implied admission of bribery on the part of Atty. Singson, sans evidence, may
not have been sufficient basis for a motion to inhibit. However, respondent
did not have to look far for evidence. Atty. Singson in not denying the
allegation of bribery is considered an admission by silence, under Section 32
of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Further, Atty. Singson faxed to him the
advance copy of the 13 November 2002 Resolution. To respondent, that
was solid evidence and in fact to this day, Atty. Singson fails to explain
exactly when, from whom, and how he was able to secure said advance
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copy. The records of this Honorable Court disclosed that Atty. Singsons
official copy of the 13 November 2002 Resolution was sent to him by
registered mail only on 20 November 2002 (a copy of the daily mailing report
is hereto attached as Annex A). Why then was he able to fax a copy to
respondent on 19 November 2002 or a day before the resolution was released
for mailing?
9.Despite all these, respondent hesitated to file a motion to inhibit. He
only finally decided to proceed when he received the copies of the
Supplemental Agenda. To emphasize, the Supplemental Agenda merely
confirmed what Atty. Singson had earlier told him. Contrary to the apparent
impression of this Honorable Court, respondents motion is not primarily
anchored on anonymously received documents but on the word of
petitioners counsel himself. The copies of the Supplemental Agenda are
merely corroborative (albeit extremely convincing) evidence.
10.Indeed, any conscientious lawyer who comes into possession of the
information relayed by Atty. Singson and the copies of the Supplemental
Agenda would bring them to the attention of this Honorable Court. In doing
so, respondent was compelled by a sense of duty to inform this Honorable
Court of any apparent irregularity that has come to his knowledge. It was not
done out of spite but a deep sense of respect.
547

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

547

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
11.In all honesty, respondent had been advised by well-meaning
friends to publicize the incident and take legal action against the
parties involved. Instead, respondent decided that a motion to inhibit before
this Honorable Court was the most appropriate channel to ventilate his
concerns. Respondent is not out to cast aspersions on anybody, most
especially members of this Honorable Court. He had to file the Urgent Motion
to Inhibit because he sincerely believed, and still firmly believes, that he could
not get impartial justice if the ponente did not recuse himself.
12.Respondent sincerely regrets that documents considered
confidential by this Honorable Court leaked out and assures this
Honorable Court that he had absolutely no hand in securing them.
Respondent just found himself in a position where he had to come out with
those documents because his opponent was crude enough to brag that their
extra-ordinary efforts to secure a stay order from a certain ponente had
bore fruit. Respondent has devoted at least seven years of his life to this
cause. He almost lost his life and was nearly driven to penury fighting this
battle. Certainly, he cannot be expected to simply raise his hands in surrender.
13.At this point, respondent is just relieved that it was confirmed during
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the 3 March 2003 hearing that Annex C of his Urgent Motion to Inhibit is a
faithful reproduction/replica of the relevant portions of the Supplemental
Agenda (TSN dated 3 March 2003, pp. 72-73 and 81) on record with the first
Division. With this, respondent rests his case.8(Emphasis supplied)

On the other hand, Atty. Singson, as part of his Compliance and


Affidavit dated 28 July 2003,9 categorically denied having bragged to
Atty. Pea and that he did not employ extra efforts to obtain a
favorable suspension order from the Court.10
_______________
8 Id., at pp. 1333-1338.
9 Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 74-84.
10 Petitioner Urban Banks Opposition (to Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to
Resolve Respondents Urgent Omnibus Motion) dated 28 February 2003; Rollo
(Vol. 1), pp. 119-131.
548

548

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
After considering and evaluating the submissions made by the two
lawyers, the Court ordered that a formal investigation be undertaken by
the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) on the actions of Atty. Pea.11
The Courts Resolution dated 28 April 2003 in the consolidated petitions,
which is the subject matter of this separate administrative case, reads:
On January 30, 2003, respondent Magdaleno M. Pea filed an Urgent
Motion to Inhibit the ponente of the instant case. Respondent Pea attached to
his Urgent Motion Annex B, a copy of pp. 61-62 of the First Divisions
Agenda of 13 November 2002. Respondent Pea claimed that Annex B
bears the recommended actions, in handwritten notations, of a member of the
Court (First Division) on Item No. 175 of the Agenda. Item No. 175(f) refers
to the Urgent Motion for Clarification filed by petitioner on 7 August 2002.
The purported handwritten notation on Annex B for Item No. 175 (f) is
N, or to simply note the motion. However, the Court issued a Resolution on
13 November 2002 granting the Urgent Motion for Clarification. In his Urgent
Motion to Inhibit, respondent Pea claimed that the Resolution of 13
November 2002 was forged because the recommended and approved
action of the Court was to simply note, and not to approve, the Urgent
Motion for Clarification.
Thus, respondent Pea stated in his Urgent motion to Inhibit:
9. While private respondent was waiting for petitioners to
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respond to his motion, he received sometime last week two documents


that confirmed his worst fears. The two documents indicate that this
Honorable Court had not actually granted petitioners Motion for
Clarification. They indicate that the supposed 13 November 2002
Resolution of this Honorable Court which Atty. Singson had bragged
about WAS A FALSIFIED DOCUMENT!
10. What private respondent anonymously received were two
copies of the official Agenda of the First Division of this Honorable
Court for 13 November 2002, the date when the questioned Resolution
was supposedly issued. In both copies (apparently secured from the
office of two different members of the Division, one of which is the
copy of the ponente himself), it
_______________
11 SC Resolution dated 28 April 2003, at 4; Rollo (Vol. 1), p. 54.
549

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

549

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
is clearly indicated that the members of the Division had agreed that
petitioners Motion for Clarification and Urgent Motion to Resolve
were merely NOTED and NOT GRANTED contrary to what was
stated in the 13 November 2002 Resolution. This makes the 13
November 2002 Resolution (at least the version that was released to
the parties) a falsified document because it makes it appear that a
Resolution was issued by the First Division granting petitioners
Motion for Clarification when in fact no such Resolution exists. The
real Resolution arrived at by the First Division which can be gleaned
from the Agenda merely NOTED said motion. Copies of the two
Agenda are hereto attached as Annexes B and C.
11. At this point, private respondent could not help but conclude
that this anomaly was confirmatory of what Atty. Singson was
bragging about. The clear and undeniable fact is the Honorable
members of this Division agreed that petitioners Motion for
Clarification would only be NOTED but the ponente responsible for
the 13 November 2002 Resolution misrepresented that the same was
GRANTED.
On 3 March 2003, the Court called respondent Pea and Atty. Manuel
Singson, counsel for petitioner Urban Bank, to a hearing to determine, among
others, the authenticity of the annexes to respondent Peas Urgent Motion to
Inhibit, including Annex B. In the hearing, respondent Pea affirmed the
authenticity of the annexes and even manifested that he was willing to accept
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the consequences if the annexes, including Annex B, turned out to be


forgeries.
In the same hearing, the members of the Court (First Division)
informed respondent Pea that the handwritten notations on Annex
B did not belong to any of them. In particular, Justice Carpio, to whom
the case was assigned and the apparent object of respondent Peas Urgent
Motion to Inhibit as the ponente responsible for the 13 November 2002
Resolution, stated that his recommended action on Item No. 175(f) was a
& f, see RES, meaning on Items 175(a) and (f), see proposed resolution. In
short, the handwritten notations on Annex B, purportedly belonging
to a member of the Court, were forgeries. For ready reference, attached
as Annexes 1 and 2 to this Resolution are a copy of pp. 61-62 of Justice
Carpios 13 November 2002 Agenda, and a copy of Justice Carpios
recommended actions for the entire 13 November 2002 Agenda, respectively.
550

550

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
In the same hearing, the Court directed respondent Pea to show cause
why he should not be held in contempt and subjected to disciplinary action
for submitting the annexes to his Motion to Inhibit. In his Compliance dated
3 April 2003, respondent Pea did not give any explanation as to why he
attached B to his Urgent Motion to Inhibit. In fact, in his Compliance,
respondent Pea did not mention at all Annex B. Respondent Pea,
however, stated that he just found himself in a position where he had to
come out with those documents because his opponent was crude enough to
brag that their extra-ordinary efforts to secure a stay order from a certain
ponente had bore fruit. In petitioners Opposition to the Urgent Motion to
Inhibit, Atty. Singson stated that he categorically denied that he had bragged
to PEA about the Resolution of this Honorable Court dated November 13,
2002 and that extra efforts have been exerted to obtain the same.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Court hereby DIRECTS the Office
of the Bar Confidant to conduct a formal investigation of respondent
Atty. Magdaleno M. Pea for submitting to the Court a falsified
document, Annex B, allegedly forming part of the confidential
records of a member of the Court, in support of his Motion to Inhibit
that same member of the Court. The Office of the Bar Confidant is
directed to submit its findings, report and recommendation within 90 days
from receipt of this Resolution.12 (Emphasis supplied.)

During the proceedings with the OBC, Attys. Pea13 and Singson14
duly submitted their respective Affidavits.
While the administrative case was still pending, some of the other
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parties in the consolidated petitionsspecifically, Benjamin L. de Leon,


Delfin Gonzalez, Jr., and Eric L. Lee, (the De Leon Group), the
petitioners in G.R. No. 145822manifested before the Court other
malicious imputations allegedly made by Atty. Pea during the course of
the proceedings in the said petitions. They moved that these be con_______________
12 Rollo (Vol. 1), at 51-55.
13 Respondent Peas Affidavit dated 27 June 2003; id., at pp. 68-71.
14 Atty. Singsons Affidavit dated 28 July 2003; id., at pp. 75-84.
551

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

551

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
sidered as sufficient and additional basis to cite him for contempt of
court.15 The Court likewise referred this matter to the OBC.16
In reply to the accusations leveled against him by the De Leon Group,
respondent Pea denied having used abrasive, insulting and intemperate
language in his pleadings; and argued that his statements therein were
privileged and could not be used as a basis for liability.17 He also accused
Urban Bank and its directors and officers of violating the rule against
forum shopping by dividing themselves into separate groups and filing
three Petitions (G.R. Nos. 145817, 145818 and 145822) against the
same Decision of the Court of Appeals with the same causes of actions
and prayers for relief.18
The OBC thereafter conducted a hearing, wherein respondent Pea
and Atty. Singson appeared and testified on matters that were the subject
of the administrative cases.19 Several hearings were also held with
respect to the additional contempt charges raised by the De Leon Group.
Thereafter, respondent Pea filed his Memorandum.20
The OBC submitted to the Court its Report on the instant
administrative case and made recommendations on the matter (the OBC
Report). As a matter of policy, this Court does not quote at length, nor
even disclose the dispositive recom_______________
15 Petitioner De Leon Groups Manifestation and Motion dated 14 May 2003;
id., at pp. 174-182.
16 SC Resolution dated 09 June 2003; id., at pp. 183-184; see also SC Resolution
dated 19 January 2005, which allowed the OBC to proceed with the investigation of
the contempt charge against respondent Pea; id., at pp. 325-326.
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17 Respondent Peas Comment dated 22 August 2003; id., at pp. 196-220.


18 Id.
19 Office of the Bar Confidant TSN dated 10 August 2006; Rollo (Vol. 3), pp.
714-774.
20 Respondent Peas Memorandum for the Respondent dated 03 November
2006; Rollo (Vol. 2), pp. 363-379.
552

552

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
mendation of the OBC in administrative investigations of members of the
bar. However, Atty. Pea, despite the fact that the OBC Report is
confidential and internal, has obtained, without authority, a copy
thereof and has formally claimed that this Court should apply to him the
non-penalty of an admonition against him, as recommended by the
OBC.21
Furthermore, he has already voiced suspicion that the present
ponente of the consolidated petitions22 from which this separate
administrative case arose, Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno, would
exclude or suppress material evidence found in the OBC report from her
ponencia in the parent case in alleged gratitude to the alleged help that
Justice Carpio had given her by allegedly recommending her to the
Supreme Court.23 The specific allegation on the supposed loyalty by one
Member of the Court to another, without any extrinsic factual basis to
support it, is too undignified to warrant a response in this Decision. To
allay his fears that Justice Sereno would participate in any undue attempt
to suppress material evidence, the Court shall summarize and quote from
the OBC Report the four charges of professional misconduct in
connection with the instant administrative case.
_______________
21 Respondent Peas Motion to Vacate/Recall dated 20 February 2010; Rollo
(G.R. No. 145822), Vol. 2, pp. 3286-3293.
22 The three consolidated petitions in the main case include: (1) Urban Bank,
Inc., v. Magdaleno M. Pea, G.R. No. 145817; (2) Delfin C. Gonzales, Jr., et al., v.
Magdaleno M. Pea, G.R. No. 145822; and (3) Magdaleno M. Pea v. Urban
Bank, Inc., et al., G.R. No. 162562.
23 In fact, with all due respect, I believe the Honorable Justice Sereno will
attempt to protect the Honorable Justice Carpio by perhaps separating the Admin
Case No. 6332, thus separating the findings of the OBC regarding the Agendas,
and thus protecting the Honorable Justice Carpio. (Respondent Peas Letter
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dated 16 September 2011, p. 6, which is Annex A of his Supplement to the Very


Urgent Motion for Re-Raffle dated 20 September 2011)
553

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

553

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
On the first charge of gratuitous imputations against members of the
Court, the OBC found that respondent Pea gave the impression that
some anomaly or irregularity was committed by the Courts First Division
in issuing the questioned 13 November 2002 Resolution. According to
respondent, Justice Carpio, the then ponente of the consolidated
petitions, purportedly changed the action of the First Division from simply
NOTING the motion for clarification filed by Urban Bank to
GRANTING it altogether. The OBC opines that although respondent
Pea may appear to have been passionate in the subject Motion to
Inhibit, the language he used is not to be considered as malicious
imputations but mere expressions of concern based on what he
discovered from the internal documents of the Court that he had
secured.24 Moreover, the OBC ruled that respondent did not make a
direct accusation of bribery against Justice Carpio, and the formers
remark about the latter having received a new Mercedes Benz was not
made in the presence of the court, but was uttered in a private mobile
phone conversation between him and Atty. Singson.25 Respondents
profound
_______________
24 While respondent may appear to have been passionate and agitated in his
language in his motion, the same may not be considered as malicious imputations
as he is merely expressing concern of what he has discovered based on the
documents he has obtained apparently from an anonymous sender and based on
his own discoveries. (OBC Report dated11 December 2007, p. 50; Rollo [Vol. 4], p.
1706)
25 Nevertheless, it is worthy [to note] that in respondents motion to inhibit,
etc., the latter did not make a direct accusation of bribery against the ponente but
merely narrated events, which in respondents view, warranted the inhibition of the
said ponente. The statements made by respondent in his conversation with Atty.
Singson, particularly his remark about Justice Carpio having a new Mercedez Benz
was not made in the presence of or so near a court nor in any public place or in a
published material as to create any impression in the mind of the public or malign
the integrity of any member of the Court. Rather it was part of a private conversa554
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554

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
apologies to the Court were also taken cognizance by the OBC, which
suggests the imposition of a simple warning against any such future
conduct.26
Further, the OBC recommended the dismissal of the second charge
that respondent supposedly submitted falsified documents to this Court as
annexes in the subject Motion to Inhibit, specifically Annex B which
appears to be a photocopy of the agenda of the First Division on 13
November 2002 with some handwritten notes.27 It reasoned that the
submission of falsified documents partakes of the nature of a criminal act,
where the required proof is guilt beyond reasonable doubt, but
respondent Pea is not being charged with a criminal offense in the instant
case. The OBC noted the statement of the Clerk of Court during the 03
March 2003 Executive Session that Annex B does not exist in the
records.28
_______________
tion between respondent and Atty. Singson only. (OBC Report dated 11
December 2007, p. 51; Rollo [Vol. 4], p. 1707)
26 In the highest interest of justice, let the apology and the begging of herein
respondent touches the Courts indulgence and compassion and accord
respondent the benefit of the doubt on his sincerity. However, let this benevolence
of the Court serve, as his first warning, being an officer of the court, to be more
cautious, restraint and circumspect with his dealing in the future with the Members
of the Court and the Supreme Court. (OBC Report dated 11 December 2007, p. 52;
Rollo [Vol. 4], p. 1708)
27 OBC Report dated 11 December 2007, p. 53; Rollo (Vol. 4), p. 1709.
28 During the Executive Session on 3 March 2003, Hon. Justice Antonio T.
Carpio categorically denied that Annex B belong to him or any of the Members of
the First Division. On the other hand, Hon. Justice Jose C. Vitug admitted that
Annex C might be his copy and the same is on the record of the case as
confirmed by the Division Clerk of Court. The Clerk of Court, however, averted
that there is no such Annex B in the records and the notation 10 AC as
appearing in Annex B is not present in Annex C. (OBC Report dated 11
December 2007, p. 53; id., at p. 1709)
555

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

555

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
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On the third charge for contempt against respondent filed by the De


Leon Group and Atty. Rogelio Vinluan, their counsel, the OBC likewise
suggests the dismissal of the same. To recall, respondent submitted
pleadings in the consolidated petitions where he allegedly charged Atty.
Vinluan of having used his influence over Justice Arturo B. Buena to gain
a favorable resolution to the benefit of his clients.29 The OBC suggests
that respondent be acquitted of the charge of using abrasive and
disrespectful language against Members of the Court and his fellow
lawyers, but nevertheless recommends that respondent be advised to
refrain from using unnecessary words or statements in the future.30
Finally, the OBC desisted from making a finding on the fourth
charge of forum-shopping leveled by respondent Pea against Urban
Bank and the individual bank directors. In his counter-suit, respondent
accused the bank and its directors and officers of having violated the rule
against forum-shopping by splitting into three distinct groups and filing
three separate petitions to question the unfavorable decision
_______________
29 During the investigation Atty. Vinluan appears. He identifies the affidavit
he executed on 16 May 2003, in support of the manifestation and motion of private
petitioners. He enumerates several pleadings of respondent in related cases
imputing that the uses his influence over Justice Buena to gain favorable
resolution of the case. He vehemently denies that imputations. According to him
this unfounded accusation tends to discredit his long-standing name and hardearned reputation before the Supreme Court and the legal profession. (OBC
Report dated 11 December 2007, p. 58; id., at p. 1714)
30 The statements may not appear to be abrasive and disrespectful but it
contains words that may offend the ego of the complainant, but prudence dictates
that respondent as a lawyer, he must refrain from using unnecessary words and
statements which may not be necessary in the resolution of the incidents raised
therein. (OBC Report dated 11 December 2007, p. 59; id., at p. 1715)
556

556

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
of the Court of Appeals.31 However, since not all the parties to the
consolidated petitions participated in the hearings in the instant case, the
OBC recommends that separate proceedings be conducted with respect
to this counter-suit in order to afford Urban Bank and all of the
concerned directors and officers, including their respective counsel, to
defend themselves and present witnesses and/or evidence in support of
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their cause.32
Taking the foregoing in consideration, the OBC submitted the
following recommendations for approval of this Court:
RECOMMENDATIONS:
WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing premises, it is respectfully
recommended the following:
A.On the charge of gratuitous allegations:
1.To DISMISS the charge on the ground that the statements in his
Motion to Inhibit, etc., do not constitute malicious imputations as he was
merely expressing his concern of what he has discovered based on the
documents he has obtained. However, let this case serve as his FIRST
WARNING, being an officer of the court, to be more cautious, restraint and
circumspect with his dealings in the future with the Court and its Member.
2.To ADMONISH respondent for making such non-sense and
unfounded joke against Honorable Justice Antonio T. Carpio the latter
deserves due respect and courtesy from no less than the member of the bar.
Likewise, Atty. Singson should also be ADVISED to
_______________
31 Atty. Pea argues that petitioners and their counsel violated the rule against forumshopping when they filed three separate petitions for certiorari questioning the decision of
the Court of Appeals raising the same issues and reliefs before this Court. (OBC Report
dated 11 December 2007, p. 60; id., at p. 1716)
32 Petitioners and their counsel should be given an opportunity to aptly defend himself
to produce witness/es and/or evidence relative thereto and to be heard by himself or by
counsel. (OBC Report dated 11 December 2007, p. 61; id., at p. 1717)
557

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

557

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
be more cautious in his dealing with his opposing counsel to avoid
misconception of facts.
B.On the charge of falsification:
1.To DISMISS the charge of submitting falsified documents on ground
of lack of legal basis. A charge of submitting falsified documents partakes of
the nature of criminal act under Art. 172 of the Revised Penal Code, and the
quantum of proof required to hold respondent guilty thereof is proof beyond
reasonable doubt. This is to avoid conflicting findings in the criminal case.
The administrative proceedings of the same act must await of the outcome in
the criminal case of falsification of document.
C.On the contempt of court filed by private complainant:
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1.To DISMISS the charge considering that the statements cited by


Atty. Pea in his pleadings previously filed in related cases, while it may
appear to be offending on the part of the complainant, but the same do not
categorically contain disrespectful, abusive and abrasive language or
intemperate words that may tend to discredit the name of the complainant.
Respondent merely narrated the facts based of his own knowledge and
discoveries which, to him, warranted to be brought to the attention of the
court for its information and consideration. He must be ADVISED however,
to refrain from using unnecessary words and statements which may not be
material in the resolution of the issued raised therein.
D.On the counter-charge of forum-shopping
1.To RE-DOCKET the counter-charge of forum shopping, as embodied
in the Comment dated 22 August 2003 of Atty. Pea, as a separate
administrative case against the petitioners and counsels in G.R. 145817, G.R.
No. 145818 and G.R. No. 145822;
2.To FURNISH the petitioners and their counsel a copy of the said
comment dated 22 August 2003 for their information.
3.To REQUIRE the petitioners and their counsel, SINGSON VALDEZ
& ASSOCIATES, represented by ATTY. MANUEL R. SINGSON, ANGARA
ABELLO CONCEPCION REALA & CRUZ represented by ATTY. ROGELIO
A. VINLUAN, ATTY. STEPHEN GEORGE S. D. AQUINO and ATTY.
HAZEL ROSE B. SEE to com558

558

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
ment thereon within ten (10) days from receipt thereof.33 (Emphasis
supplied)

Issues
In these administrative matters, the salient issues for the Courts
consideration are limited to the following:
(a)whether respondent Pea made gratuitous allegations and
imputations against members of the Court;
(b)whether he can be held administratively liable for submitting
allegedly falsified documents consisting of internal documents of the
court;
(c)whether he can likewise be held administratively liable for the
contempt charges leveled against him in the Manifestation and Motion
filed by the De Leon Group; and
(d)whether Urban Bank and the individual bank directors and
officers are guilty of forum shopping.
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Our Ruling
A.First Charge: Malicious and
Ground
less Imputation of Bribery
and Wrongdoing against a Member
of the Court.
We do not adopt the recommendation of the OBC on this charge.
Respondent Pea is administratively liable for making gratuitous
imputations of bribery and wrongdoing against a member of the Court, as
seen in the text of the subject Motion to Inhibit, his statements during the
03 March 2003 Executive Session, and his unrelenting obstinacy in
hurling effectively the same imputations in his subsequent pleadings. In
_______________
33 OBC Report dated 11 December 2007, pp. 47-62; id., at pp. 1703-1718.
559

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559

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
moving for the inhibition of a Member of the Court in the manner he
adopted, respondent Pea, as a lawyer, contravened the ethical
standards of the legal profession.
As officers of the court, lawyers are duty-bound to observe and
maintain the respect due to the courts and judicial officers.34 They are to
abstain from offensive or menacing language or behavior before the
court35 and must refrain from attributing to a judge motives that are not
supported by the record or have no materiality to the case.36
While lawyers are entitled to present their case with vigor and
courage, such enthusiasm does not justify the use of foul and abusive
language.37 Language abounds with countless possibilities for one to be
emphatic but respectful, convincing but not derogatory, illuminating but
not offensive.38 A lawyers language should be forceful but dignified,
emphatic but respectful as befitting an advocate and in keeping with the
dignity of the legal profession.39
In the subject Motion for Inhibition, respondent Pea insinuated that
the then ponente of the case had been bribed by Atty. Singson, counsel
of Urban Bank in the consolidated petitions, in light of the questioned 13
November 2002 Resolution, suspending the period of redemption of the
levied
_______________
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34 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESP ONSIBILITY , Canon 11.


35 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESP ONSIBILITY , Canon 11, Rule 11.03.
36 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESP ONSIBILITY , Canon 11, Rule 11.04.
37 Saberon v. Larong, A.C. No. 6567, 16 April 2008, 551 SCRA 359, citing Rubio
v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 84032, 29 August 1989, 177 SCRA 60, 63.
38 Id., citing Torres v. Javier, A.C. No. 5910, 21 September 2005, 470 SCRA 408,
421; Nuez v. Astorga, A.C. No. 6131, 28 February 2005, 452 SCRA 353, 364, citing
Hueysuwan-Florido v. Florido, 465 Phil. 1, 7; 420 SCRA 132, 136 (2004); Cruz v.
Cabrera, A.C. No. 5737, October 25, 2004, 441 SCRA 211, 219.
39 Ng v. Alar, A.C. No. 7252, 22 November 2006, 507 SCRA 465, citing
Hueysuwan-Florido v. Florido, A.C. No. 5624,20 January 2004, 420 SCRA 132, 136137.
560

560

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
properties pending appeal. The subject Motion to Inhibit reads in part:
4.Private respondent [Pea] composed himself and tried to recall if
there was any pending incident with this Honorable Court regarding the
suspension of the redemption period but he could not remember any. In an
effort to hide his discomfort, respondent teased Atty. Singson about
bribing the ponente to get such an order. Much to his surprise, Atty.
Singson did not even bother to deny and in fact explained that they obviously
had to exert extra effort because they could not afford to lose the properties
involved (consisting mainly of almost all the units in the Urban Bank Plaza in
Makati City) as it might cause the bank (now Export Industry Bank) to close
down.40 (Emphasis supplied.)

During the 03 March 2003 Executive Session by the First Division of


this Court, respondent Pea explained that his reference to the bribe was
merely a joke in the course of a telephone conversation between
lawyers:
CHIEF JUSTICE DAVIDE:
Regarding that allegation made by Atty. Pea on [sic] when you made mention
earlier of him saying about Justice Carpio?
ATTY. SINGSON:
Yes, Your Honor, he said kaya pala may bagong Mercedez [sic] si Carpio,
eh.
CHIEF JUSTICE:
He said to you that?
ATTY. SINGSON:
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Yes, that was what he was referring to when he said about bribery.
xxxxxxxxx
_______________
40 Respondent Peas Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to Resolve Respondents Urgent Omnibus Motion
dated 30 January 2006, at 2-3; Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 17-18.
561

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

561

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817 and
145822
ATTY. PEA:
First of all I would like to everything that he said, he told me that he got,
they got a stay order, it is a stay order from the S upreme Court through
Justice Carpio and then I gave that joke. That was just a joke really. He
got a new M e[r]cedez [sic] Benz, you see, he was the one who told me they
got a stay order from the Supreme Court through Justice Carpio, that was
what happened
CHIEF JUSTICE:
You mean you made a joke?
ATTY. PEA:
You Honor?
CHIEF JUSTICE;
You made a joke after he told you supposedly that he got (interrupted)
ATTY. PEA:
He got a stay order from Justice Carpio.
CHIEF JUSTICE:
And you say that is the reason why he got a new Mercedez [sic] Benz,
you made it as a joke?
ATTY. PEA:
Your Honor, that is a joke between lawyers.
CHIEF JUSTICE;
That is correct, you are making it as a joke?
ATTY. PEA:
Your Honor, I think, because how they got (interrupted)
CHIEF JUSTICE:
If it were a joke why did you allege in your motion that it was Atty.
S ingson who said that Justice Carpio was bribed or the ponente was
bribed, is that also another joke?41 (Emphasis supplied.)

Respondent Pea insinuated ill motives to the then ponente of the


consolidated petitions with respect to the issuance of
_______________
41 SC TSN dated 03 March 2002, at 55-58; Rollo (Vol. 3), pp. 1052-1055.
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562

562

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
the 13 November 2003 Resolution. To respondents mind and based on
his interpretation of the two copies of the Agenda which he anonymously
received, the First Division agreed only to simply note Urban Banks
Motion for Clarification. Nevertheless, the questioned Resolution, which
Atty. Singson sent to him by facsimile, had instead granted the Motion.
Hence, respondent Pea attributed the modification of the action of the
First Division to simply note the Motion, one apparently unfavorable to
respondent Pea, to Justice Carpio, who had supposedly received a
Mercedes Benz for the supposedly altered resolution.
However, as pointed out by the Court in the Resolution dated 03
March 2003, each Justice has his own respective copy of the Agenda,
where he can make his own handwritten notations on the action for each
item and case, but [t]he official actions of the Court are contained in the
duly approved minutes and resolutions of the Court.42 Hence, contrary
to the insinuations made by respondent Pea, Justice Carpio had not
altered the action of the First Division in granting Urban Banks Motion
for Clarification in the consolidated petitions, as in fact, this was the
approved resolution agreed upon by the Justices then present. The
ponente of the case had not recommended that the Motion for
Clarification be simply noted, but in fact, had referred to a separate
resolution, i.e., a) & f)See RES., disposing of the said item (F)
including item (A), which is the Motion to Inhibit Associate Justice
Artemio Panganiban. In addition to the official minutes of the 13
November 2002 Session,43 Justice Carpio submitted for the record his
written recommendation on the agenda item involving the consolidated
petitions, to prove
_______________
42 SC Resolution dated 03 March 2003, p. 3; Rollo (Vol. 1), p. 40.
43 Annex 1 of the SC Resolution dated 28 April 2003; id., at pp. 8-9.
563

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563

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145817 and 145822

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that this was his recommendation, and the minutes confirm the approval
of this recommendation.44
The Court, through a unanimous action of the then Members of the
First Division, had indeed adopted the recommended and proposed
resolution of Justice Carpio, as the then ponente, and granted the Motion
for Clarification filed by Urban Bank. It is completely wrong for
respondent Pea to claim that the action had been issued without any
sufficient basis or evidence on record, and hence was done so with
partiality. A mere adverse ruling of the court is not adequate to
immediately justify the imputation of such bias or prejudice as to warrant
inhibition of a Member of this Court, absent any verifiable proof of
specific misconduct. Suspicions or insinuations of bribery involving a
member of this Court, in exchange for a favorable resolution, are grave
accusations. They cannot be treated lightly or be jokingly alleged by
parties, much less by counsel in pleadings or motions. These suspicions or
insinuations strike not only at the stature or reputation of the individual
members of the Court, but at the integrity of its decisions as well.45
Respondent Pea attempts to draw a connection and direct
correlation between Urban Banks failure to furnish him a copy of its
Motion for Clarification, purportedly denying him an opportunity to refute
the allegations therein, and the supposedly corrupt means by which the
unfavorable Resolution was thereby obtained. This is completely
untenable and irresponsible. Had he simply confined the issue to an
alleged
_______________
44 Annex 2 of the SC Resolution dated 28 April 2003; id., at pp. 10-15.
45 Mere suspicion that a judge is partial is not enough. There should be clear
and convincing evidence to prove the charge of bias and partiality. Extrinsic
evidence is required to establish bias, bad faith, malice or corrupt purpose, in
addition to the palpable error that may be inferred from the decision or order itself.
(Sinnott v. Barte, A. M. No. RTJ-99-1453, 14 December 2001, 423 Phil. 522; 372
SCRA 282)
564

564

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
deprivation of due process, then there would hardly be any controversy
regarding his conduct as a lawyer and an officer of the Court. The
purported lack of notice of the Motion for Clarification filed the bank in
the consolidated petitions could have been raised as a valid concern for
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judicial resolution. Instead, respondent Pea insinuates ill motives on the


part of Members of the Court imputing the failure of a private party to
give him due notice to be, in effect, a failure of the Court. This merits the
exercise of the Courts disciplinary powers over him as a member of the
Bar. To allege that bribery has been committed by members of the
judiciary, a complainantespecially, a lawyermust go beyond mere
suspicions, speculations, insinuations or even the plain silence of an
opposing counsel.
Based on the two lawyers disclosures during the 03 March 2003
Executive Session, respondent Pea appears to have been caught by
surprise by his telephone conversation with Atty. Singson, who informed
him of the suspension of the redemption period by the Court and its
issuance of a Stay Order over the execution pending appeal. The
astonishment of respondent would seem natural, since he was caught
unawares of Urban Banks Motion for Clarification, which was the
subject matter of the 13 November 2002 Resolution. His supposed joke,
which he himself initiated and made without provocation, was disdainful
all the same, as it suggested that the bank had obtained the Order from
this Court in exchange for an expensive luxury automobile.
Atty. Pea cannot be excused for uttering snide and accusatory
remarks at the expense of the reputation and integrity of members of this
Court, and for using those unsubstantiated claims as basis for the subject
Motion for Inhibition. Instead of investigating the veracity of Atty.
Singsons revelations, respondent read too much into the declarations and
the purported silence of opposing counsel towards his joke. Respondent
made unfounded imputations of impropriety to a specific Member of the
Court. Such conduct does not befit a member
565

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

565

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
of the legal profession and falls utterly short of giving respect to the Court
and upholding its dignity.
Respondent Peas defense that the allegation of bribery and collusion
between Justice Carpio, Atty. Singson and the petitioners was a joke
fails to convince, as in fact, he was deadly serious about the charges he
raised. Respondent insisted that his alleged insinuation of ill motives was
just a joke between two lawyers engaged in a private telephone
conversation regarding the case. Although the courts and judicial officers
are entitled to due respect, they are not immune to criticisms nor are they
beyond the subject matter of free speech, especially in the context of a
private conversation between two individuals. In this case, though,
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respondent himself was responsible for moving the private matter into the
realm of public knowledge by citing that same joke in his own Motion
for Inhibition filed before this Court. In general, courts will not act as
overly sensitive censors of all private conversations of lawyers at all times,
just to ensure obedience to the duty to afford proper respect and
deference to the former. Nevertheless, this Court will not shy away from
exercising its disciplinary powers whenever persons who impute bribery
to judicial officers and bring such imputations themselves to the courts
attention through their own pleadings or motions.
Contrary to his assertion that the accusation of bribery was
only made in jest, respondent has never backed down since he first
made the accusation in January 2003 and continually raises as an
issue in the consolidated petitions how Justice Carpio purportedly
changed the agreed action of the First Division when he issued the
questioned 13 November 2002 Resolution, even after the Court in
the 03 March 2003 Executive Session had precisely explained to
him that no impropriety had attended the issuance of the said
Resolu566

566

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
tion. In the Motions to Inhibit dated 21 January 201046 and 22 August
2011,47 he repeatedly insists on the anomalous/unusual circumstances
surrounding the issuance by Justice Carpio of the same questioned
Resolution, which was allegedly contrary to the handwritten notes made
in the copies of the Agenda that he received. Respondent Pea most
recently capitalized on the purported alteration or falsification supposedly
committed by Justice Carpio by filing an ethics complaint against the
latter, where he alleged that:
Sometime thereafter, respondent Pea received a copy of the Suppl [sic]
Agenda1st Division of this Honorable Court with a notation in handwriting
10AC on the left side and marginal notes on the right side. A perusal
thereof, reveals that when this Honorable Court took up the matter of the
Motion for Clarification of peti_______________
46 2.With all due respect, it is important to note that one of the matters taken up or
issues in A.C. No. 6332 was the issuance, by Justice Antonio T. Carpio, of a Resolution
dated 13 November 2002 and the anomalous/unusual circumstances regarding the same for it
being contrary to the Agenda of November 2002 of the First Division of this Honorable
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Court. Further, this incident was the subject of an executive hearing wherein the First
Division interrogated respondent/petitioner Pea as to who in the Supreme Court supplied
the questioned Agenda to him. During this executive hearing, the Honorable Justice Carpio
was confrontational and hostile to respondent/petitioner Pea for exposing the questioned
Agenda and raising issues therein. (Respondent Peas M otion to Inhibit dated 20 January
2010, p. 2)
47 3.One of the matters taken up and/or issues in A.C. No. 6332 was the issuance,
by Justice Antonio T. Carpio, of a Resolution dated 13 November 2002 and the
anomalous/unusual circumstances regarding the same for it being contrary to the Agenda of
November 2002 of the First Division of this Honorable Court. Further, this incident was
the subject of an executive hearing wherein the First Division interrogated me as to who in
the Supreme Court supplied me the questioned Agenda. During this executive hearing, the
Honorable Justice Carpio was confrontational and hostile to me for exposing the questioned
Agenda and raising issues therein. (Respondent Peas M otion to Inhibit dated 22 August
2011, p. 2)
567

VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

567

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
tioner Urban Bank, this Honorable Court merely N or Noted the Motion
for Clarification of petitioner Urban Bank and did not grant the same.
xxxxxxxxx
Considering the foregoing (I was not furnished a copy of the Motion for
Clarification, or required to comment by the Honorable Justice Carpio and
opposing counsel, Atty. Singson, being able to secure an advance copy of the
assailed 13 November 2002 Resolution), the matter brought out in the
Executive Session and the admission made by Atty. Enriqueta Vidal and the
Honorable Hilario Davide and the Honorable Justice Vitug with regard to his
copy of the Suppl [sic] Agenda1st Division of this Honorable Court which
was sent to respondent Pea was correct and that the Motion for Clarification
was merely N or NOTED. However, the Honorable Justice Carpio issued
a Resolution Granting the Motion for Clarification.
Therefore, the Honorable Justice Carpio issued the 13 November
2002 Resolution in an anomalous/falsified manner and in clear
contravention of this Honorable Courts Decision to merely Note the
same. A clear judicial administrative violation.48 (Emphasis supplied.)

Clearly, the bribery joke which respondent himself initiated has


gotten the better of him. Respondent has convinced himself of the veracity
of his own malicious insinuations by his own repetitious allegations in his
subsequent pleadings.
The Court in the past refrained from imposing actual penalties in
administrative cases in the presence of mitigating factors, such as the
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acknowledgment of the infraction and the feeling of remorse.49 In this


case, the profound apologies50
_______________
48 Respondent Peas Letter dated 16 September 2011, p. 2-4, which is Annex
A of his Supplement to the Very Urgent Motion for Re-Raffle dated 20
September 2011.
49 In Re: Raquel D. J. Razon, et al., A.M. No. P-06-2243, 26 September 2006, 503
SCRA 52.
50 3.Once again, I wish to express my sincerest apologies to the members of
the Honorable Court whom I may have offended by
568

568

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
offered by respondent Pea for his insinuations against Justice Carpio are
insincere and hypocritical, as seen by his later actions. Although he
expressed remorse for having caused the Court distress because of his
statements,51 he refuses to acknowledge any unethical conduct on his
part for his unfounded accusations against the actions of Justice Carpio
with respect to the questioned 13 November 2002 Resolution. Worse,
he has persisted in attributing ill-motives against Justice Carpio, even after
the latter had recused himself from the case since 2003.
This is not the first time that respondent resorted to initiating
unfounded and vicious attacks against the integrity and
impartiality of Members of this Court. Earlier in the proceedings of
the consolidated petitions, respondent assailed how retired Justice
Arturo B. Buena showed bias in favor of the De Leon Group, when the
latters petition in G.R. No. 145822 was reinstated on a second motion
for reconsideration:52
It has come to the attention and knowledge of herein respondent that
petitioners counsel has been making statement to the effect that they could
get a favorable resolution from the Su_______________
the use of the two copies of the Supplemental Agenda in my motion. It was never my
intention to undermine the integrity of the Honorable Court or any of its members. If I had
made remarks which gave the impression, I am certainly very sorry. M y aim was only to
get to the truth. (Respondent Peas Affidavit dated 27 June 2003, p. 1; Rollo [Vol. 1], p.
68)
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51 2.At the outset, respondent wishes to apologize for the distress his statements
may have caused the members of this Honorable Court. While such distress may have been
the unavoidable consequence of his motion to inhibit the ponente, it was certainly not his
intended result. (Respondent Peas Compliance dated 03 April 2003; Rollo [G.R. No.
145817], Vol. 2, pp. 1333-1340).
52 Respondent Peas Reply (to Petitioners Opposition to M otion to Urgent M otion
to Inhibit) dated 31 October 2001; Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 85-108.
569

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569

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
preme Court, on their second motion for reconsideration. In short,
petitioners counsel is practically saying that they are sure to get the Supreme
Court to entertain the second motion for reconsideration even if it violates the
rules. 53
1.The motion for voluntary inhibition is directed at Justice Buena
because it was he who penned the challenged Resolution, which granted the
second motion for reconsideration in violation of the Rules. It was he who
crafted, drafted and finalized the said Resolution. It was he who tried to
justify the violation of the Rules. It was from Justice Buenas office that
contents of the challenged Resolution was apparently leaked to the
petitioners counsel long before its promulgation. 54
What miracle did Atty. Vinluan perform and what phenomenon transpired?
Why are herein petitioners very special in the eyes of Justice Buena?
55

It is quite obvious that the partiality of Justice Buena has been affected
by his relationship with Atty. Vinluan, as evidenced by the abovedescribed facts and circumstances. 56
Surprisingly, Justice Arturo B. Buena, the assigned ponente,
reinstated the petition without any explanation whatsoever, and in
gross violation of Sec. 4, Rule 56 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
This was highly irregular by itself. But what made reinstatement more
suspicious was the fact that even before the release of the Resolution
reinstating the petition in G. R. No. 145822, the counsel for petitioners, Atty.
Rogelio Vinluan, was already boasting that he would be able to reinstate their
petition. Obviously, even before the release of the Resolution in question,
_______________
53 Respondent Peas Opposition (to Urgent M otion for Leave to Admit Urgent
M otion for Reconsideration of the Resolution dated 14 February 2001 and 13 December
2000) dated 23 April 2001, at 4-5, Rollo (Vol. 3), pp. 1116-1117.
54 Respondent Peas Reply (to Petitioners Opposition to M otion to Urgent M otion
to Inhibit) dated 31 October 2001, at 1; id., at p. 1128.
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55 Id., at p. 14; id., at p. 1141.


56 Id.
570

570

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
Atty. Vinluan already knew what Justice Buenas resolution would be.57
(Emphasis supplied.)

In no less than six motions,58 he similarly accused former Chief


Justice Artemio V. Panganiban of prejudice based on his affiliation
with the Rotary Club, wherein some of the directors and officers of
Urban Bank were also members. He even claimed that Justice
Panganiban went to Urban Bank to meet with some of the directors and
officers, who consulted him on the legal issues arising from criminal suits
in relation to the facts of the main petitions, citing only an unnamed
reliable source:
The friendship and close relationship of the three (Justice Panganiban and
Urban Banks Arsenio Archit Bartolome and Teodoro Ted Borlongan)
went beyond their being Rotarians. As a matter of fact, Justice Panganiban
was seen a couple of times going to Urban Bank to see Archit and/or Ted,
before the banks closure. Respondent has also discovered, through a
reliable source, that Justice Panganiban was known to have been
consulted, and his legal advice sought, by Borlongan and Bartolome, in
connection with the above-entitled cases, while the same was still pending
with the Court of Appeals and in connection with the four (4) criminal cases
filed the with the MTC [Municipal Trial Court] at Bago City by herein
respondent against Borlongan, et al., for introducing falsified documents in a
judicial proceeding. In the latter cases, it was even Justice Panganiban
who furnished a copy of the SC Decision in Doris Ho vs. People (his own
ponencia) to Bartolome and Borlongan, for the purpose of giving his
friends a legal basis in questioning the issuance of the
_______________
57 Respondent Peas M otion to Inhibit dated 18 February 2002, at 5; id., at p. 1156.
58 1.Peas Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Artemio V. Panganiban) dated 12 January
2001; 2. Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Panganiban) dated 18 February 2002; 3. Reply (Re:
Justice Panganiban) dated 15 M arch 2001; 4. Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Panganiban)
dated 28 December 2004; 5. Motion for Inhibition (Re: Justice Panganiban) dated 28
December 2004; and 6. Reiteratory Motion to Recuse dated 03 M arch 2006 (Re: Justice
Panganiban).

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571

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571

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
warrants of arrest against Borlongan and the rest of his co-accused in
Criminal Case Nos. 6683 to 6686, MTC Bago City (now appealed to Supreme
Court; see Footnote No. 1 below).59 (Emphasis supplied.)

Lastly, respondent Pea raised the issue of unmitigated partiality


against retired Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura on the ground
that the latter resolved a separate case involving related issues to the main
petitions in favor of the opposing parties:
3.The Petitioners in G. R. No. 143591, entitled Teodoro C.
Borlongan, et al. v. Magdaleno M. Pea, et al., are also the same
petitioners in the above-entitled consolidated cases G.R. Nos. 145817 and
145822; and the respondents in the above-entitled consolidated case G.R. No.
162562. Under the circumstances, herein private respondent is
ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the extreme bias and prejudice of Justice
Nachura against him in G.R. No. 143591 would certainly be carried over
to the above-entitled consolidated cases.60 (Emphasis supplied.)

Not only has respondent Pea failed to show sincere remorse for his
malicious insinuations of bribery and wrongdoing against Justice Carpio,
he in fact continually availed of such unethical tactics in moving for the
inhibition of eleven Justices of the Court.61 Indeed, his pattern of behavior
can no
_______________
59 Respondent Peas Motion to Inhibit dated 18 February 2002, pp. 2-3; Rollo
(G.R. No. 145817), Vol. 1, pp. 901-902.
60 Respondent Peas Motion to Inhibit dated 07 January 2008, p. 3; Rollo (G.R.
No. 145817), Vol. 3, p. 1953.
61 The Court is concerned with the repeated attempts of Atty. Pea
throughout the entire course of these proceedings (whether through a direct
motion to inhibit, administrative ethics complaint, or, indirectly, through a motion
for re-raffle) to cause the inhibition of members of this Court. Eleven (11) Justices
so far have all been asked by Atty. Pea to inhibit themselves. Atty. Peas
inclination to disqualify members of the Court, whom he perceives to be potentially
adversarial to his cause, has certainly caused unwarranted and
572

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572

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
longer be seen as isolated incidents that the Court can pardon given
certain mitigating circumstances. Respondent Pea has blatantly and
consistently cast unfounded aspersions against judicial officers in utter
disregard of his duties and responsibilities to the Court.
In Estrada v. Sandiganbayan,62 the Court chose to indefinitely
suspend Atty. Alan Paguia, when the latter imputed devious motives and
questioned the impartiality of members of the Court, despite its earlier
warnings:
The Supreme Court does not claim infallibility; it will not denounce
criticism made by anyone against the Court for, if well-founded, can truly
have constructive effects in the task of the Court, but it will not countenance
any wrongdoing nor allow the erosion of our peoples faith in the judicial
system, let alone, by those who have been privileged by it to practice law in
the Philippines.
Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that the
lawyer should observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and judicial
officers and, indeed, should insist on similar conduct by others. In liberally
imputing sinister and devious motives and questioning the impartiality,
integrity, and authority of the members of the Court, Atty. Paguia has only
succeeded in seeking to impede, obstruct and pervert the dispensation of
justice.

Respondent Peas actions betray a similar disrespectful attitude


towards the Court that cannot be countenanced especially for those
privileged enough to practice law in the country. To be sure, Atty. Paguia
has just been recently reinstated to the practice of law after showing
sincere remorse and having renewed his belief and respect for the Court,
almost eight years from the time the penalty was imposed. Thus, the
Court orders respondent Pea be indefinitely suspended from the
practice of law for his apparently irredeemable habit of re_______________
unnecessary delay in the resolution of the case. (SC Resolution dated 17
October 2011 in the consolidated petitions docketed as G.R. Nos. 145817, 145822
and 162562).
62 G.R. Nos. 159486-88, 25 November 2003, 416 SCRA 465.
573

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573
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In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
peatedly imputing unfounded motives and partiality against members of
the Court.
B.Second Charge: Submission
of Falsified Internal Court
Documents.
We likewise reject the recommendation of the OBC with respect to
the second charge.
It must be noted that the Court, in its Resolutions dated 03 March
2003 and 28 April 2003, expressed administrative concern over Atty.
Peas behavior on three points: (1) his submission of a falsified court
document, (2) his access to Supreme Court documents that are highly
restricted and confidential, and (3) his use of court documents (genuine or
false) in his pleadings.
Respondent Pea submitted a falsified internal court document, Annex
B, had illegal access to confidential court documents, and made
improper use of them in the proceedings before this Court. The Court
directed the initial investigation by the OBC based on the charge that
respondent Pea had submitted a falsified document to this Court.63 The
charge of falsification stems from his submission of an alleged copy of the
Courts Agenda64 (Annex B) purportedly belonging to a member of the
Division handling the case. The pertinent portion of the subject Motion to
Inhibit reads:
10.What private respondent anonymously received were two copies of
the Official Agenda of the First Division of this Honorable
_______________
63 Resolution dated 28 April 2003, at 4; Rollo (Vol. 1), p. 6.
64 The Clerk of Court and the Division Clerks of Court shall ensure that all pleadings,
communications, documents, and other papers duly filed in a case shall be reported in the
Agenda for the consideration by the Court en banc or the Division. The Agenda items for
each case shall adequately apprise the Court of relevant matters for its consideration.
(Internal Rules of the Supreme Court [A.M . No. 10-4-20-SC, as amended], Rule 11, Sec. 1)
574

574

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
Court for 13 November 2002, the date when the questioned Resolution was
supposedly issued. In both copies (apparently secured from the office of
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two different members of the Division, one of which is the copy of the
ponente himself), it is clearly indicated that the members of the Division had
allegedly agreed that petitioners Motion for Clarification and Urgent Motion
to Resolve were merely NOTED and NOT GRANTED contrary to what was
stated in the 13 November 2002 Resolution (at least the version that was
released to the parties) a falsified document because it makes it appear that a
Resolution was issued by the First Division granting petitioners Motion for
Clarification when in fact no such Resolution exists. The real Resolution
arrived at by the First Division which can be gleaned from the Agenda merely
NOTED said motion. Copies of the two Agenda are hereto attached as
Annexes B and C. 65 (Emphasis supplied.)

During the 03 March 2003 Executive Session, respondent Pea


expressed his absolute conviction that the document attached as Annex
B was an exact copy of the Agenda of the then ponente of the case.66
It was later discovered, however, that no such copy existed, either in the
latters records or in those of any other member of the Division
concerned:
CHIF JUSTICE:
We make of record again that insofar as Annex B is concerned it
was confirmed by the Office of the Clerk of Court of this Division that
the original of that does not appear in the record, is not in the record
and that nobody, none of the members of the division has a copy of,
that copy of Annex B of your pleading does not come from anyone of
the members of the division. That is the position of the Court now as
explained earlier. Specifically Mr. Justice Carpio said that Annex B,
specifically with that capital A. capital C preceded by 10 did not come from
_______________
65 Respondent Peas Urgent M otion to Inhibit and to Resolve Respondents Urgent
Omnibus M otion dated 30 January 2003, at 4-5; Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 19-20.
66 TSN dated 03 M arch 2002, pp. 38-44; Rollo (Vol. 3), pp. 1036-1042.
575

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575

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817
and 145822
his office, was not based on the document in his office and that is also true to
each of the members of this Division.67 (Emphasis supplied.)

The falsification, subject of the instant administrative case, lies in the


fact that respondent Pea submitted to the Court a document he was
absolutely certain, at the time of such submission, was a copy of the
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Agenda of the then ponente. In supporting the subject Motion to Inhibit,


respondent misled the Court by presenting a document that was not what
he claimed it to be. Contrary to the assurances made in the same
motion68 he made allegations that were false and submitted documents
that were not borne out by the records of this case. Instead of verifying
the contents of Annex B, which came to him through dubious means, he
unquestioningly accepted their genuineness and veracity. Despite the
Courts own explanation that Annex B does not exist, he continues to
insist on its existence.
Candor and truthfulness are some of the qualities exacted and
expected from members of the legal profession.69 Thus, lawyers shall
commit no falsehood, nor shall they mislead or allow the court to be
misled by any artifice.70 As disciples of truth, their lofty vocation is to
correctly inform the court of the law and the facts of the case and to aid it
in doing justice
_______________
67 TSN dated 03 March 2002, pp. 98-99; id., at pp. 1094-1095.
68 In the verification portion of his Motion to Inhibit, respondent Pea under
oath swore and stated that he had caused the preparation of the motion, and that
all the allegations therein were true and correct, based on his knowledge as well as
the records of the case. (Respondent Peas Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to
Resolve Respondents Urgent Omnibus Motion dated 30 January 2003, at 7-8;
Rollo [Vol. 1], pp. 22-23)
69 A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the Court. (CODE

OF

PROFESSIONAL RESP ONSIBILITY , Canon 10)


70 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESP ONSIBILITY , Rule 10.01.
576

576

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
and arriving at correct conclusions.71 Courts are entitled to expect only
complete honesty from lawyers appearing and pleading before them.72 In
the instant case, the submission of a document purporting to be a copy of
the Agenda of a member of this Court is an act of dishonesty that puts
into doubt the ability of respondent to uphold his duty as a disciple of
truth.
Respondent Pea would argue, however, that falsificationas a
criminal act under the Revised Penal Codewas not judicially
established during the proceedings of the OBC investigation and, thus, he
cannot be held liable for falsification. The comparison of the present
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administrative and disciplinary proceedings with a criminal charge of


falsification is misplaced.
The subject matter of administrative proceedings is confined to
whether there is administrative liability for the submission of a falsified
documentnamely Annex B, which respondent Pea claims (albeit
mistakenly) to be a genuine copy of the Agenda of the ponente. The
issue, then, is whether he transgressed the ethical standards demanded of
lawyers, by which they should be truthful in their dealings with and
submissions to the Court. The investigation clearly does not include the
determination of criminal liability, which demands a different modicum of
proof with respect to the use of falsified documents. At this time, the
Court makes no definitive pronouncement as to the guilt of respondent
over his violation of the provisions of the Revised Penal Code regarding
the use of falsified documents.
In brief, respondent led this Court to believe that what he submitted
was a faithful reproduction of the ponentes Agenda, just to support the
subject Motion to Inhibit. The
_______________
71 Samala v. Valencia, A. C. No. 5439, 22 January 2007, 512 SCRA 1, citing
Young v. Batuegas, 451 Phil. 155; 403 SCRA 123 (2003).
72 Id.
577

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577

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
original of the purported copy was later found to have been inexistent in
the courts records. Regardless of whether or not Annex B was
criminally falsified or forged is immaterial to the present disposition. What
is now crucial is whether respondent was candid and truthful in claiming
absolute certainty with respect to the genuineness and authenticity of his
submissions.
The assertion of respondent Pea that the typewritten contents of
Annexes B and C appear to be genuine and accurate is unconvincing
and cannot exonerate him from liability. Although Annex C was
determined to be in the Courts records,73 the bare similarity of its
typewritten contents with those of Annex B will not shield him from
disciplinary action. Although the typewritten contents of the two Agendas
appear identical, the handwritten notes located at the right-hand
side are different. Respondent, in fact, claims that the handwritten notes
come from two different members of the Division, one of them the then
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ponente of the case.


The subject Motion to Inhibit is anchored on the veracity of the
handwritten remarksnot on the printed contentswhich are allegedly
contrary to the substance of the Courts 13 November 2002 Resolution
faxed to him by Atty. Singson. Respondent Pea cannot claim the
genuineness of Annex B (which is not in the records), based on the
apparent identity of its printed contents with those of Annex C (which is
in the records). The handwritten notes are markedly different and,
according to him, made by two different members of the Court. In his
Motion to Inhibit, respondent failed to substantiate his assertion that
Annex B and the notes made therein belonged to any member of this
Court.
More importantly, the Court notes that respondent Pea has not
explained, to the Courts satisfaction, how he managed to obtain
internal and confidential documents.
_______________
73 TSN dated 03 March 2002, at 73; Rollo (Vol. 3), pp. 1070.
578

578

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
Respondent Pea would have the Court believe that he happened to
obtain the two copies of the Agenda (Annexes B and C) and the
internal Resolution (Annex D) in two separate envelopes anonymously
sent via ordinary mail. He supposedly received them sometime during the
second or the third week of January 2002 in his home-cum-office in
Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.74 He, however, failed to present the
envelopes containing the documents, but explained that these may have
already been thrown away, since he had no system of recording incoming
communications in his home/office in the province. The Court is not
persuaded by his account of the receipt of these restricted court
documents.
The Agenda, the Courts action thereon, as well as the Resolution
(Annex D), are internal documents that are accessible only to court
officers,75 who are bound by strict confidentiality. For respondent
Pea to have been able to secure originals or photocopies of the Courts
Agenda is disturbing because that ability implies a breach of the rules of
strict
_______________
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74 Respondent Peas Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to Resolve Respondents


Urgent Omnibus Motion dated 30 January 2003, at 4-5; Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 19-20.
75 Court personnel shall not disclose to any unauthorized person any
confidential information acquired by them while employed in the judiciary, whether
such information came from authorized or unauthorized sources.
Confidential information means information not yet made a matter of public
record relating to pending cases, as well as information not yet made public
concerning the work of any justice or judge relating to pending cases, including
notes, drafts, research papers, internal discussions, internal memoranda, records of
internal deliberations and similar papers.
The notes, drafts, research papers, internal discussions, internal memoranda,
records of internal deliberations and similar papers that a justice or judge uses in
preparing a decision, resolution or order shall remain confidential even after the
decision, resolution or order is made public. (Code of Conduct for Court
Personnel, AM No. 03-06-13-SC, Canon II, Sec. 1)
579

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579

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
confidentiality in the Court. Notably, the Agenda purportedly sent to him
did not contain all the items for deliberation by the Courts First Division
for that day; the copies sent were limited to the incidents pertaining to his
pending case. This circumstance can hardly be considered as random,
since the exact item (Item No. 175) of concern for himspecifically, the
Courts action on Urban Banks Motion for Clarificationwas what had
been sent directly to his provincial home/office, and what he conveniently
acquired thereby.
The Court finds it hard to believe that confidential court records just
coincidentally and anonymously appeared in the provincial home/office of
respondent Pea through ordinary mail. Also incredible is his explanation
that the envelopes that contained the documents, and that could have led
to the identification of their source were opportunely misplaced or thrown
away, despite the grave importance he had ascribed to them. It is highly
improbable that a personnel of the Court would breach the rules of strict
confidentiality76 to send to litigants or their counsel the Courts Agenda,
together with handwritten notes and the internal resolutions of the Court,
without any prodding or consideration, and even at the risk of incurring
grave criminal and administrative penalties.77 Respondent Peas account
of having lost the envelopes appears
_______________
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76 The Offices of the Clerk of Court and of the Division Clerks of Court are
bound by strict confidentiality on the action or actions taken by the Court prior to
the approval of the draft of the minutes of the court session release of the
resolutions embodying the Court action or actions. (Internal Rules of the Supreme
Court, as amended, Rule 11, Sec. 5, par. 1)
77 11. I had no reason to doubt the documents authenticity simply because
there was no reason for anyone to bother or go to the extent of manufacturing
documents for the benefit of someone who does not even know him. The
documents contained a detailed list of the incidents deliberated by this Honorable
Court on 13 November 2002. Definitely, not just anyone could have access to such
information. (Respondent Peas Affidavit dated 27 June 2003, at 3; Rollo [Vol. 1],
p. 70)
580

580

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
too convenient an excuse to assuage the Courts skepticism towards this
breach of confidentiality within its own halls.
Worse, respondent Pea flaunted his continued accessas recent as
2010to other internal and confidential records in the proceedings
of this case. Despite the administrative proceedings leveled against him
for having illicitly obtained the confidential Agenda of the Courts First
Division, he brazenly resorted again to such unethical behavior by
surreptiously acquiring no less than the confidential and still unreleased
OBC Report on the very administrative case of which he himself is the
subject.
In his Motion to Vacate/Recall dated 20 February 2010,78
respondent Pea prayed that the questioned 13 November 2002
Resolution be recalled on the ground that there was a mistake in its
issuance based on the copies of the Agenda he had mysteriously
received. In support of this motion, he casually cited and attached a
photocopy of the confidential OBC Report.79 This OBC Report has
not been released to any party, and was then in fact still under
deliberation by this Court. Curiously, the attached photocopy bears
marks corresponding to the unreleased copy of the signed OBC Report,
as it actually appears in the rollo of the administrative case.80
Unfortunately, respondent did not explain in the said motion how he was
able to obtain a copy thereof.
Regardless of the means employed by respondent, his acquisition of
the OBC Report from the Courts own records already speaks of an
appalling pattern of unethical behavior that the Court will no longer
ignore. Even as he was the subhttp://www.central.com.ph/sfsreader/session/00000146f6bf7b1a97e5330b000a0082004500cc/t/?o=False

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_______________
78 Respondent Peas Motion to Vacate/Recall dated 20 February 2010; Rollo
(G.R. No. 145822), Vol. 2, pp. 3286-3293.
79 Annex 5 of respondent Peas Motion to Vacate/Recall dated 20 February
2010; Rollo (G.R. No. 145822), Vol. 2, pp. 3305-3366.
80 OBC Report dated 11 December 2007; Rollo (Vol. 4), pp. 1657-1718.
581

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581

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
ject of an administrative case for obtaining confidential court records, he
continued to have access to other internal documents of the Court. His
actions have established that he is incorrigible and not likely to change.
His continued obstinacy in disregarding ethical standards and ignoring the
rule of confidentiality of court records deserves nothing less than the
ultimate penalty of disbarment from the profession.
Moreover, in the subject Motion to Inhibit, respondent Pea even
tried to bolster his claim that the then ponente of the case had a special
interest in the case by attaching an internal resolution of the Court.81 In
the said Internal Resolution dated 04 September 2002, the two
consolidated petitions (G.R. Nos. 145817 and 145822) were transferred
from the Third Division to the First Division, where Justice Carpio was
subsequently assigned.82 How respondent Pea was again able to secure
this internal document is another disturbing mystery in this case, especially
since the resolution was sent by the Third Division Clerk of Court to the
First Division Clerk of Court, the Raffle Committee and the Judicial
Records Office only, and not to any of the parties. Similar to the copies
of the Agenda of the First Division, respondent Pea again
_______________
81 12.Respondent is not just speculating here. He is CERTAIN that the
ponente has a special interest in this case. Recently, he also found out that the
ponente made a special request to bring this case along with him when he
transferred from the Third Division to the First Division. Respondent has a copy of
the Resolution of this Honorable Court granting such request (hereto attached as
Annex D). Indeed this circumstance, considered with all the foregoing
circumstances, ineluctably demonstrate that a major anomaly occurred here.
(Peas Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to Resolve Respondents Urgent Omnibus
Motion dated 30 January 2003, pp. 5-6; Rollo [Vol. 1], pp. 20-21)
82 Let this case be TRANSFERRED to the First Division, the same being
assigned to a Member thereof. [Internal Matter] (Rollo [Vol. 1], p. 33)
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582

582

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
purportedly received this Internal Resolution by mail.83 What is more
alarming in this instance is that he received not just any photocopy of the
Courts Resolution, but a pink copy itself, the very same material used
for such internal resolutions in the Courts records. As he himself
admitted, respondent Pea could not have gotten hold of the said internal
Resolution, which was on its face declared an internal matter, without
the assistance of a person who had access to the records of his case in
the Court.
This claimed major anomaly of the transfer of the case, which is
being decried by respondent in the subject Motion to Inhibit, stems from
his gross misunderstanding of the internal rules of the Court.
Upon the reorganization of the members of various Divisions due to
the retirement of other Justices, the cases already assigned to a Memberin-Charge are required to be transferred to the Division to which the
Member-in-Charge moves.84 Hence, in this case, Justice Carpio, similar
to other members of the Court at that time, did not lose his case as_______________
83 12.Moreover, I subsequently received another mail from apparently the
same sender, this time containing a pink copy of this Honorable Courts 4
September 2002 Resolution (annex D, Urgent Motion to Inhibit) transferring this
case from the Third Division to the First Division. The receipt of this last
document somehow confirmed to me that whoever sent the copies of the
Supplemental Agenda really had access to the records of this Honorable Court.
(Peas Affidavit dated 27 June 2003, p. 3; Rollo [Vol. 1], p. 70)
84 Effect of reorganization of Divisions on assigned cases.In the
reorganization of the membership of Divisions, cases already assigned to a
Member-in-Charge shall be transferred to the Division to which the Member-inCharge moves, subject to the rule on the resolution of motions for reconsideration
under Section 7 of this Rule. The Member-in-Charge is the Member given the
responsibility of overseeing the progress and disposition of a case assigned by
raffle. (Internal Rules of the Supreme Court [A.M. No. 10-4-20-SC, as amended],
Rule 2, Sec. 9)
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145817 and 145822


signments but brought them with him when he transferred to the First
Division. In fact, the transfers of the assigned cases to the new Division
are made by request from the Member-in-Charge, because otherwise the
rollo of the cases of which he is Member-in-Charge will be retained by a
Division in which he is no longer a member. Thus, the transfer of the two
consolidated petitions to the First Division that is being heavily criticized
by respondent Pea was simple compliance with the established internal
procedures of the Court, and not attributable to any undue interest or
malicious intention on the part of the then ponente to retain the case for
himself. Respondent had raised irresponsible suspicions85 against the
integrity of the ponente without any understanding of the Supreme
Courts processes in the transfer of cases.
Respondent Pea had, in fact, previously used this deplorable tactic of
obtaining internal court records to call for the inhibition of Justices of the
Court. In previously moving for the inhibition of Justice Buena, he assailed
how supposedly the retired Justice violated the rules with respect to a
second motion for reconsideration when the latter reinstated the Petition
of the De Leon Group in G.R. No. 145822. Respondent attributed the
special treatment extended by Justice Buena to his supposed association
with the De Leon Groups counsel, Atty. Rogelio Vinluan of the ACCRA
Law Office. To establish this special treatment, he attached a complete
copy of the Minutes of the Division86 composed of 58 pages and
showing 77 cases dismissed by the Court due to failure to pay
_______________
85 In this regard, respondent made an irresponsible suspicion. As an internal
policy of the Court, the case will automatically be transferred to the Division to
which the ponente of the case is a Member thereof. (OBC Report dated 11
December 2007, p. 50; Rollo [Vol. 4], p. 1706)
86 Annex A of Peas Reply (to Petitioners Opposition to Motion to Urgent
Motion to Inhibit) dated 31 October 2001; Rollo (G. R. No. 145822), Vol. 2, pp. 27762834.
584

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145817 and 145822
the required fees, which Justice Buena allegedly did not reinstate:
10.A review of the records of the Supreme Court will show that for the
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past several months alone, seventy-seven petitions were dismissed by the


Supreme Court, mainly for failure to pay the required fees. Out of that
number, NONE WERE REINSTATED upon the filing of a SECOND
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION. If Justice Buena willingly disregarded
the Rules by reinstating petitioners petition (De Leon Group Petition in G. R.
No. 145822) upon the filing of a second motion for reconsideration, then he
should have reinstated also the aforesaid 77 cases in order to be fair. At the
very least, he should now reinstate all of said 77 cases if only to show that he
is not biased in favor of herein petitioners. He could not and will not do so,
however, because those cases are not favored ones. Photocopies of the case
titles and numbers, as well as the resolutions dismissing the aforesaid
seventy-seven cases, consisting of 58 pages, are attached hereto collectively
as Annex A. 87

Respondent Pea was able to attach to this motion for inhibition the
portions of the Courts Minutes on 12 April 2000, 07 February 2001, 12
February 2001, 14 February 2001, 26 February 2001, 28 March 2001,
14 April 2001, 18 April 2001, 26 April 2001, 16 May 2001, 11 July
2001, 08 August 2001, 13 August 2001, 20 August 2001, 29 August
2001, 05 September 2001, 24 September 2001, 08 October 2001 and
others which were undated. The attached Minutes pointed to specific
cases which were dismissed for failure to pay the necessary fees, among
others. It was unclear if the cases were specifically assigned to Justice
Buena or if respondent Pea represented any of the parties therein.
Nevertheless, what stands out is that he obtained confidential Minutes
of the Court pertaining to other cases, which specifically dismissed or
denied petitions on the failure of the parties to pay necessary fees. This
could not have just been
_______________
87 Peas Reply (to Petitioners Opposition to Motion to Urgent Motion to
Inhibit) dated 31 October 2001, p. 6; Rollo (Vol. 1), at 90.
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mere coincidence again since it required some legal understanding and
familiarity with the cases in order to be able to sift through and identify the
kinds of cases, which were dismissed or denied on such grounds.
Although the parties to these cases were notified and given copies of the
Courts resolutions, what respondent Pea obtained were the actual
copies of the Minutes that included other items in the Courts Agenda and
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that were not released to the public. Under the Courts own Internal
Rules, only the Minutes pertinent to the parties are those that are
distributed to the parties concerned.88 Yet, respondent was able to attach
wholesale Minutes of dozens of cases to his pleading.
Although the above confidential documents that were accessed by
respondenttotaling 58 pages in allare not the subject of the
investigation of the administrative case, his previous receipt or acquisition
of the minutes of the Court as early as 2000 confirm in no uncertain terms
his access to internal records of the Court, not just of his case, but of
other pending cases and that this access has continued as late as 2010. It
seems rather ironic that respondent Pea would accuse his fellow lawyers
of allegedly having an inside track to members of the Court, when he in
turn, on record, had mysteriously easy access to confidential court
documents. That internal documents of the Court (whether voluminous or
in relation to his case or otherwise) would suddenly find themselves in the
hands of respondent Pea through registered mail is too incredible for this
Court to attribute any good faith on his part.
_______________
88 xxx Excerpts of the minutes pertaining to a particular case quoted in a letter
of the Clerk of Court or the Division Clerk of Court to the parties, and extended
resolutions showing the actions of the court on the cases on the agenda shall be
released to the parties only after the Chief Justice or the Division Chairperson has
approved the minutes in writing. xxx (Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, as
amended, Rule 11, Sec. 4)
586

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In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
Even if the Court were to give some modicum of credence to the
unlikely story of how respondent Pea came upon these internal
documents, it looks with disapproval upon his actions with respect to
those documents, which were supposedly sent to him anonymously. If
indeed lawyers were sent official judicial records that are confidential in
nature and not easily accessible, the ethical recourse for them would be to
make a candid and immediate disclosure of the matter to the court
concerned for proper investigation, and not as proof to further the
merits of their case. In fact, respondent himself acknowledged that
reporting the leaked out documents was a duty he owed to the Court89
more so in this case, since the documents were sent anonymously and
through dubious circumstances.
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No issue would have arisen with respect to his continuing fitness to be


a member of the legal profession, if he had simply reported his receipt of
the leaked court documents, and nothing more. Yet, he not only failed
to immediately disclose the suspicious circumstances of his having
obtained confidential court records; he even had the tenacity to use the
documents sent through suspicious means to support his request for
inhibition. As a lawyer, he should have known better than to hinge his
motions and pleadings on documents of questionable origins, without
even verifying the authenticity of the contents by comparing them with
sources of greater reliability and credibility.
If respondent Pea entertained doubts as to the veracity of the
Divisions actions with respect to the pending incidents in his case, as
allegedly embodied in the anonymous Agendas sent to him, then he
should have simply checked the records
_______________
89 13.I sincerely regret that the documents considered confidential by the
Honorable Supreme Court had leaked out but there was nothing I could do about
it. Once these documents were sent to me, my duty was to bring them to [the]
attention of the Court which, in its wisdom, would know best what to do with
them. (Respondent Peas Affidavit dated 27 June 2003, at 3; Rollo [Vol. 1], pp.
70)
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to verify the genuineness of the questioned 13 November 2002
Resolution faxed to him by Atty. Singson. It is through officially released
resolutions and decisions that parties and their counsel are informed of
and guided by the Courts actions on pending incidents, and not by the
confidential and handwritten notes of the individual members of the Court.
Respondents wholesale reliance on copies of the Agenda purported to
be those of individual members of the Court and anonymously sent to him
is grossly misplaced.
The Court has already explained that there was in fact no discrepancy
between the agreed upon action of the Division and the questioned 13
November 2002 Resolution, contrary to the assertions of respondent
Pea. He grounded the subject Motion to Inhibit on the fact that the
anonymously sent copies of the Agenda indicate that the Motion for
Clarification filed by Urban Bank should simply be noted,90 but it was
instead granted by the Court. The Court, however, made clear during
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the 03 March 2003 Executive Session, that there was nothing irregular
about annotating the first item with SEE RES (See Resolution) and
marking the rest of the incidents with N (Noted). In fact, these
annotations conform with the recommended actions submitted by the
ponente for that particular item.91 The Resolution identified in the first
item governs and contains the actual disposition of two of the incidents in
the pending case.92 To be sure, what governs as the final action of the
Court en banc or in Division is the minutes
_______________
90 The term noted means that the Court has merely taken cognizance of the
existence of an act or declaration, without exercising a judicious deliberation or
rendering a decision on the matterit does not imply agreement or approval.
(Sebastian v. Bajar, A.C. No. 3731, 07 September 2007, 532 SCRA 435, citing
Cojuangco, Jr. v. Palma, A.C. No. 2474, 30 June 2005, 462 SCRA 310, 321)
91 Justice Carpios Agenda for 13 November 2002, Item 175 (a) & (f) as See
RES.; Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 10-15.
92 TSN dated 03 March 2002, at 77-83; Rollo (Vol. 3), pp. 1073-1079.
588

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of the proceedings,93 which lists the dispositions of the items taken up
during the session, reviewed by the members, and finally approved by the
Chief Justice or the Division chairperson. Contrary to respondents
suspicions, the action taken by the Division in its 13 November 2002
Session was accurately reflected in the questioned Resolution released by
the Court.
Respondent Pea has no one else to blame but himself, since he
allegedly, blindly and mistakenly relied on anonymously sent
unverified photocopies of the Courts Agenda, in order to support his call
for the inhibition of a member of the Court. Neither can he rely on the
alleged bragging of Atty. Singsonwhich the latter deniesto impute
ill motive to judicial officers. Whether Atty. Singson actually exerted
extraordinary efforts to secure the suspension Order or freely divulged
it in their telephone conversation, respondent should have been more
circumspect in making grave accusations of bribery (jokingly or not)
without any extrinsic evidence or proof to back up his claim.
Respondent Pea is sanctioned for knowingly using confidential and
internal court records and documents, which he suspiciously obtained in
bolstering his case. His unbridled access to internal court documents has
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not been properly explained. The cavalier explanation of respondent Pea


that
_______________
93 The Chief Justice or the Chairperson of the Division shall provide the Clerk
of Court or the Division Clerk of Court the latter notes on the actions taken by the
Court. The copy of the Agenda containing the handwritten notes of the Chief
Justice or Division Chairperson shall serve as the basis for the preparation of the
minutes of the session by the Office of the Clerk of Court or the Division Clerk of
Court. Within three working days from the time the copy of the Agenda containing
the handwritten actions of the Court is transmitted, the Clerk of Court or the
Division Clerk of Court shall submit the draft of the minutes of the session for the
approval by the Chief Justice or the Division Chairperson. (Internal Rules of the
Court, as amended, Rule 11, Sec. 3 and 4)
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this Courts confidential documents would simply find themselves
conveniently falling into respondents lap through registered mail and that
the envelopes containing them could no longer be traced is unworthy of
belief. This gives the Court reason to infer that laws and its own internal
rules have been violated over and over again by some court personnel,
whom respondent Pea now aids and abets by feigning ignorance of how
the internal documents could have reached him. It is not unreasonable to
even conclude that criminal liabilities have been incurred in relation to the
Revised Penal Code94 and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,
with Atty. Pea benefitting from the same.95 Respondents actions clearly
merit no other penalty than disbarment.
This second penalty of disbarment is all the more justified by the
earlier imposition of an indefinite suspension. If taken together, these two
violations already speak of respondent Peas inherent unworthiness to
become a member of the Bar. Although an indefinite suspension opens up
the possibility of future reinstatement after a clear showing of remorse and
a change of ways (as in the case of Atty. Paguia), respondent has shown
to be incorrigible and no longer deserves the compassion of the Court.
Not only has respondent thumbed his nose on the integrity of the persons
occupying the Bench by casting grave aspersions of bribery and
wrongdoing, he has also showed disdain for the sanctity of court
procedures and records by his haughty display of illegal access to internal
Supreme Court documents.
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_______________
94 REVISED PENAL CODE , Art. 229 (Revelation of Secrets).
95 Divulging valuable information of a confidential character, acquired by his
office or by him on account of his official position to unauthorized persons, or
releasing such information in advance of its authorized release date, xxx. (Republic
Act No. 3019, Sec. 3 [k]).
590

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In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
C.Third Charge: Respondent Peas
insinuations of wrongdoing and
collusion between members of the
Court and another counsel.
Aside from attributing bribery to the ponente, respondent Penas
allegations of collusion between previous members of the Court and the
counsel for the De Leon Group are unfounded and contravene the ethical
duties of respondent to the Court and his fellow lawyers. His actions
reveal a pattern of behavior that is disconcerting and administratively
punishable.
However, considering the ultimate penalty of disbarment earlier
imposed on respondent Pea, the Court no longer finds the need to
squarely rule on the third charge, as any possible administrative liability on
this matter would be a mere superfluity.
D.Fourth Charge: The charge of
forum shopping is not the proper
subject of the present allegations
of administrative misconduct.
The counter-charge of forum shopping has been made by respondent
Pea against petitioners and their respective counsel in his defense.96
However, this is already beyond the scope of the subject matter of this
administrative case. It will be recalled that he assailed the fact that Urban
Bank, the De Leon Group, and the other group of bank officers filed
three separate Petitions (G.R. Nos. 145817, 145818 and 145822,
respectively) before the Court. They all questioned therein the rulings of
the appellate court affirming the grant of execution pending appeal.
_______________
96 Respondent Peas Comment (with Motions to Explain and for Full
Investigation) dated 22 August 2003; Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 196-220.
591
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VOL. 669, APRIL 17, 2012

591

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Considering that this claim is the subject of administrative penalties,
and that other interested parties did not participate in the investigation
conducted by the OBC herein, prudence and equity dictate that the Court
reserve judgment for the meantime until the subject is fully ventilated and
all parties are given an opportunity to argue their cases.
The charges of forum shopping are hereby dismissed without
prejudice to the filing and/or hearing of separate administrative
complaints97 against petitioners Urban Bank, Corazon M. Bejasa, Arturo
E. Manuel, Jr., P. Siervo H. Dizon, Delfin C. Gonzales, Jr., Benjamin L.
de Leon and Eric L. Lee, and their respective counsel of record.
Considering their deaths, petitioners Teodoro C. Borlongan and Ben T.
Lim, Sr., can no longer be included in any future administrative action in
relation to these matters. On the other hand, Ben Y. Lim, Jr., was
mistakenly impleaded by respondent Pea and therefore, is not a real and
direct party to the case.
Epilogue
As parting words, the Court herein highlights the disorder caused by
respondent Peas actions in the administration of justice. In order to
foreclose resort to such abhorrent practice or strategy in the future, the
Court finds the need to educate the public and the Bar.
Lawyers shall conduct themselves with courtesy, fairness and candor
towards their professional colleagues.98 They shall not, in their
professional dealings, use language that is abusive, offensive or otherwise
improper.99 Lawyers shall use dignified language in their pleadings despite
the adversarial
_______________
97 RULES OF COURT, Rule 7, Sec. 5.
98 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESP ONSIBILITY , Canon 8.
99 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESP ONSIBILITY , Rule 8.01.
592

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145817 and 145822
nature of our legal system.100 The use of intemperate language and unkind
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ascriptions has no place in the dignity of a judicial forum.101


The Court cannot countenance the ease with which lawyers, in the
hopes of strengthening their cause in a motion for inhibition, make grave
and unfounded accusations of unethical conduct or even wrongdoing
against other members of the legal profession. It is the duty of members
of the Bar to abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact
prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless
required by the justness of the cause with which they are charged.102
It has not escaped the Courts attention that respondent Pea has
manifested a troubling history of praying for the inhibition of several
members of this Court or for the re-raffle of the case to another Division,
on the basis of groundless and unfounded accusations of partiality. A
sampling of his predilection for seeking the inhibition of, so far, eleven
Justices of this Court, in an apparent bid to shop for a sympathetic ear,
includes the following:
1.Peas Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Artemio V. Panga
niban) dated 12
January 2001;
2.Urgent Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Arturo Buena) dated 20 August 2001;
3.Letter Complaint (Re: Justice Buena) dated 28 October 2001;
4.Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Panganiban) dated 18 February 2002;
_______________
100 Barandon v. Ferrer, A. C. No. 5768, 26 March 2010, 616 SCRA 529, citing Saberon v. Larong,
A.C. No. 6567, 16 April 2008, 551 SCRA 359, 368.
101 Id., citing De la Rosa v. Court of Appeals Justices, 454 Phil. 718, 727; 407 SCRA 213, 220
(2003).
102 Uy v. Depasucat, id., citing Surigao Mineral Reservation Board v. Cloribel, G.R. No. L-27072,
09 January 1970, 31 SCRA 1.
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145822
5.Reply (Re: Justice Panganiban) dated 15 M arch 2001;
6.Urgent Motion to Inhibit (re: ponente) dated 30 January 2003;
7.Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Leonardo A. Quisumbing) dated 08 July 2004;
8.Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Panganiban) dated 28 December 2004;
9.Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Eduardo Antonio B. Nachura) dated 17
December 2007;
10.Motion for Inhibition (Re: Justice Panganiban) dated 28 December 2004;
11.Reiteratory Motion to Recuse dated 03 M arch 2006 (Re: Justice Panganiban);
12.Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Nachura) dated 07 January 2008;
13.Urgent Consolidated Motion to Reiterate Request for Inhibition (Re: Justice
Antonio T. Carpio) dated 02 June 2008;
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14.Urgent Motion for Re-Raffle (Re: Justice Presbitero J. Velasco) dated 10 July
2008;
15.Supplement to the Urgent Motion for Re-Raffle (Re: Justices Conchita CarpioM orales and Dante O. Tinga) dated 04 August 2008;
16.Urgent Consolidated Motion for Re-Raffle (Re: Justices Carpio M orales,
Tinga and Velasco) dated 14 August 2008;
17.Urgent Consolidated Motion for Re-Raffle (Re: Justices Arturo D. Brion,
Leonardo A. Quisumbing, Carpio M orales, Tinga, Velasco, Quisumbing) dated
28 August 2008;
18.Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justice Carpio) dated 21 January 2010;
19.Very Urgent Motion to Inhibit (Re: Justices Carpio M orales and M a. Lourdes
P. A. Sereno) dated 30 M arch 2011;
594

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In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No. 145817 and
145822
20.Very Urgent Motion to Inhibit dated 22 August 2011 (Re: Justice Sereno); and
21.Very Urgent Motion to Re-Raffle dated 01 September 2011 (Re: Justices
Carpio, Jose Perez and Sereno).

The grounds for inhibition of the Justices in these motions of


respondent ranged from flimsy and sparse relations between the parties
and the members of the Court to wild accusations of partiality on mere
conjectures and surmises. For example, respondent accused former Chief
Justice Panganiban of bias based on his affiliation with the Rotary Club, in
which the late Teodoro Borlongan, then President of Urban Bank, was
likewise an officer.103 He moved for the inhibition of Justice Sereno on
the ground that she was a close judicial ally of Justice Carpio, and in
turn, the latter, according to respondent, was antagonistic toward him
during the Courts 03 March 2003 Executive Session in this
administrative case.104
Meanwhile, respondent recently sought to have the case re-raffled
from the Courts Third Division because Justice Jose Portugal Perez, a
member thereof, was allegedly appointed to the Court through the
endorsement of former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who was a
close ally of the then Chairman Emeritus of Urban Bank, former President
Fidel V. Ramos.105 He similarly sought the inhibition of Justice Dante O.
Tinga for his close professional and political ties with former President
Ramos.106 He likewise assailed the partiality of Justice Arturo D. Brion,
considering he is a law school class_______________
103 Peas Motion to Inhibit dated 18 February 2002; Rollo (G.R. No. 145822),
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Vol. 2, pp. 2936-2945.


104 Peas Very Urgent Motion to Inhibit dated 30 March 2011; Rollo (G.R. No.
145822), Vol. 3, pp. 3964-3971.
105 Peas Very Urgent Motion for Re-Raffle dated 01 September 2011; id., at
pp. 3972-3980.
106 Peas Supplement to the Urgent Motion for Re-raffle dated 04 August
2008; Rollo (G.R. No. 162562). Vol. 2, pp. 1339-1344.
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mate and fraternity brother of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, who was
then Presidential Legal Counsel of former President Ramos. Thus,
according to respondent Pea, President Ramos, through Justice
Corona, will most likely exercise his influence over the Honorable Justice
Brion.107
Curiously, in asking for the inhibition of Justice Nachura for his alleged
partiality in favor of Urban Bank because of his decision in a related
case108 and his prior appointment as Undersecretary of Education during
the Ramos presidency, respondent Pea impliedly prayed that his case be
specifically retained in the Courts Third Division.109 Respondents
peculiar request, which was not included in his other motions, gives the
impression that in his quest to have Justice Nachura inhibit himself,
respondent nonetheless did not want his case to be raffled out of the
Third Division. If his only intention was to raise the possibility of bias
against Justice Nachura alone, then it would not matter whether his case
remained with the Third Division, with another member being designated
to replace Justice Nachura, or raffled to another Division altogether.
Respondent Peas odd prayer in his motion for inhibition bore signs of
an intent to shop for a forum that he perceived to be friendly to him,
except for one member.
_______________
107 Peas Urgent Consolidated Motion for Re-Raffle dated 28 August 2008;
id., at pp. 1355-1362.
108 Borlongan v. Pea, G.R. No. 143591, 23 November 2007, 538 SCRA 221.
109 However, herein private respondent-movant (Pea) would like to make it
clear that he has full trust and confidence in the other members of the Third
Division, Considering that only Associate Justice Nachura has exhibited extreme
bias and prejudice against private respondent. (Peas Motion to Inhibit dated 07
January 2008, p. 6; Rollo [G.R. No. 162562], Vol. 2, p. 1278)
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596

596

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
In Chin v. Court of Appeals,110 the Court warned against litigants
contumacious practice in successively asking for the inhibition of judges,
in order to shop for one who is more friendly and sympathetic to their
cause:
We agree that judges have the duty of protecting the integrity of the
judiciary as an institution worthy of public trust and confidence. But under
the circumstances here, we also agree that unnecessary inhibition of judges in
a case would open the floodgates to forum-shopping. More so, considering
that Judge Magpale was not the first judge that TAN had asked to be inhibited
on the same allegation of prejudgment. To allow successive inhibitions
would justify petitioners apprehension about the practice of certain
litigants shopping for a judge more friendly and sympathetic to their
cause than previous ones.
As held in Mateo, Jr. v. Hon. Villaluz, the invitation for judges to
disqualify themselves need not always be heeded. It is not always desirable
that they should do so. It might amount in certain cases to their being
recreant about their duties. It could also be an instrument whereby a party
could inhibit a judge in the hope of getting another more amenable to his
persuasion. (Emphasis supplied.)

The Courts warning in Chin applies squarely to the multiple and


successive requests for inhibition and re-raffle filed by respondent Pea.
Lest other litigants follow his lead, the Court condemns in no uncertain
terms the practice of shopping for a justice, most especially in the highest
tribunal of the land. This abhorrent practice is indeed one of the reasons
why this administrative case has dragged on for years. Not only does it
impute ill motive and disrepute to the members of the Court, but it
likewise delays the administration of justice.
Oddly enough, respondent Pea has been less concerned about the
inordinate delay in resolving the case than about making sure that the
wrong or unfriendly Justicesin his perceptiondo not sit and rule
on the issues. He has thrived
_______________
110 G.R. No. 144618, 15 August 2003, 456 Phil. 440; 409 SCRA 206.
597

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145817 and 145822
on the protracted interruptions caused by his numerous motions for
inhibition and re-raffle, resulting in the case languishing in this Court for
years and clogging its dockets. Respondent stands out for this disorderly
behavior and must be made an example so that litigants be reminded that
they cannot bend or toy with the rules of procedure to favor their causes.
Worse, respondent has thrown no less than the rules of basic courtesy in
imputing sinister motives against members of the Court.
Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that respondent Pea has
violated several canons of professional and ethical conduct expected from
him as a lawyer and an officer of the court. His conduct, demeanor and
language with respect to his cause of actionin this Court, no lesstend
to undermine the integrity and reputation of the judiciary, as well as inflict
unfounded accusations against fellow lawyers. Most disconcerting for this
Court is his uncanny ability to obtain confidential and internal court
records and to use them shamelessly in his pleadings in furtherance of his
cause.
In addition, the Court cannot just make short shrift of his inclination
towards casually moving for the inhibition of Justices of the Court based
on unfounded claims, since he has not shown remorse or contrition for his
ways. Atty. Pea has shown and displayed in these proceedings that he
has fallen short of the ethical standards of the noble profession and must
be sanctioned accordingly.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, for violating Canons 8, 10 and 11 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility and for failing to give due respect
to the Courts and his fellow lawyers, respondent Atty. Magdaleno M.
Pea is hereby DISBARRED from the practice of law, effective upon his
receipt of this Decision, and his name is ORDERED STRICKEN from
the Roll of Attorneys.
Let a copy of this Decision be attached to respondent Peas
personal record in the Office of the Bar Confidant and
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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

In Re: Supreme Court Resolution Dated 28 April 2003 in G.R. No.


145817 and 145822
other copies thereof be furnished the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
The En Banc Clerk of Court is directed to INVESTIGATE how
respondent was able to secure copies of the following: (a) copies of the
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Agenda dated 13 November 2002 of the Courts First Division, attached


as Annexes B and C of respondent Peas Urgent Motion to Inhibit
and to Resolve Respondents Urgent Omnibus Motion dated 30 January
2003; (b) the Internal Resolution dated 04 September 2002, attached as
Annex D of the same motion; (c) the Report and Recommendation
dated 11 December 2007, issued by the Office of the Bar Confidant,
attached as Annex 5 of respondent Peas Motion to Vacate/Recall
dated 20 February 2010; and (d) the Minutes of the Court, consisting of
58-pages, attached as Annex A of the Reply (to Petitioners
Opposition to Motion to Urgent Motion to Inhibit) dated 31 October
2001 filed by respondent Pea. She is further required to SUBMIT such
an investigation report with recommendations on the administrative and
disciplinary liabilities, if any, of all court personnel possibly involved
therein, as well as suggestions for protecting confidential and internal
court documents of pending cases within NINETY (90) DAYS from
receipt of this Resolution.
SO ORDERED.
Leonardo-De Castro, Brion, Peralta, Bersamin, Abad,
Villarama, Jr., Perez, Mendoza, Sereno, Reyes, JJ., concur.
Corona (C.J.), Velasco, Jr., Del Castillo and Perlas-Bernabe,
JJ., No part.
Carpio, J., Prior inhibition, my recommended action is subject of
this case.
Atty. Magdaleno M. Pea disbarred for violating Canons 8, 10
and 11 of Code of Professional Responsibility and for failing to give
due respect to courts and his fellow lawyers, his name ordered
stricken from Roll of Attorneys.
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Notes.In disbarment proceedings, the case against the respondent
lawyer must be established by clear, convincing and satisfactory proof.
(Velasco vs. Doroin, 560 SCRA 1 [2008])
Dishonesty is a malevolent act that has no place in the judiciary;
Falsification of daily time records is an act of dishonesty. (Re:
Unauthorized Disposal of Unnecessary and Scrap Materials in the
Supreme Court Baguio Compound, and the Irregularity on the
Bundy Cards of Some Personnel Therein, 592 SCRA 12 [2009])
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